County, Maryland (October 9, 2012)-Today, Baltimore County Executive Kevin
Kamenetz, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of Health and Human Services and
LaVerne Naesea, Executive Director of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy,
"tipped-off" the flu vaccination season by announcing two flu
The first initiative is the Ask-A-Pharmacist flu hotline exercise. On Thursday, October 11 from 5 to 7 p.m., twelve volunteer pharmacists from the Maryland Board of Pharmacy will operate the 410-887-BCHD (2243) hotline bank at the Department of Health, and answer calls from the public about flu vaccinations, flu and cold medications, and where to get a free flu shot. This initiative will allow the Department of Health to:
•test their emergency hotline system, which is used for any public health crisis;
•educate the public on the importance of getting a flu shot; and strengthen their partnership with pharmacy volunteers through the Maryland Board of Pharmacy.
"The Board of Pharmacy is extremely excited about this joint initiative that will allow pharmacists to directly counsel Maryland's patients in advance of the upcoming flu season," stated LaVerne Naesea, Executive Director of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy.
The second initiative is Super Saturday. On Saturday, October 13 from 9 a.m. to noon, the Department of Health will operate five public flu vaccination clinics at the following locations:
Drumcastle Government Center
6401 York Road, First Floor
Baltimore, MD 21212
Hereford Middle School
712 Corbett Road
Monkton, MD 21111
Holabird Middle School
1701 Delvale Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21222
Lansdowne Middle School
2400 Lansdowne Road
Baltimore, MD 21227
Randallstown Community Center
3505 Resource Drive
Randallstown, MD 21133
Residents will be able to walk-in and receive a free flu vaccination, while supplies last. Residents are asked to wear short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts for quick and easy access to the portion of their arm where the vaccination will be administered.
"Nobody wants to catch the flu and flu shots are a great defense against this common, but potentially dangerous illness," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "We are making it as easy as we can for people to take advantage of free flu shots at convenient locations."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine - even if they were vaccinated last year - since immunity from vaccination declines over time. Vaccine is safe, effective and readily available this season. The current seasonal flu vaccine is a match for the strains of the virus expected to affect the United States this season. Maryland has no reported flu cases for the 2012-13 season, but influenza is expected to increase in the next few months.
"I am urging all individuals six months and older to stay in the game and get a flu shot," stated
Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. "As I remind residents every fall, the best defensive move against the flu is knowing the flu FACTS - frequently wash your hands, always get an annual flu shot, cover your coughs, take time off when you are sick, and seek medical treatment if symptoms get worse."
For more information on the Ask-a-Pharmacist exercise or Super Saturday flu vaccination clinics, call 410-887-2243 or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/health.