With peak flu season upon us, there is an important deadline for young children to meet by the end of 2018.
State law requires pre-K children to get the flu shot by December 31 or they cannot go back to school in the New Year.
During winter break, the City of New Haven Health Department is providing free flu vaccines for New Haven students of all ages.
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The Centers for Disease Control recommends the flu shot for everyone older than six months.
Sixth-grader Zaniha came to the New Haven clinic Wednesday for her flu shot.
“Because you can get sick and that means you’ll miss out on education,” she said.
Her younger brother in pre-school needs to get his before Monday.
“I just know that they said before December 31st get your flu shot or they’d have to stay home,” mom Shiquitta McDuffie said. “Have to go to school, have to learn, get your flu shot.”
McDuffie said she appreciates the city making the flu shots available during winter break.
“It’s a good convenience,” she said, “I called his doctor today they was unable to get an appointment until after January so I called here and they said come on down.”
“So people don’t have to worry about having insurance they could come in and get a flu vaccine,” said Director of Public Health Nursing Jennifer Allis-Vazquez.
New Haven Public School sent home letters to parents informing them about the flu shot clinic, Allis-Vazquez said.
“The flu vaccine is just one tool in the fight against the flu,” Allis-Vazquez said, “along with good hand hygiene, washing your hands, staying home when you’re sick keeping children home from school when they’re sick.”
McDuffie said she already got her flu shot.
“So many kids are sick nowadays,” she said. “Working in the health field I see a lot of people coming in with the flu so it’s the perfect time get it done while you can prevent the kids from spreading germs around school.”
The New Haven clinic at 54 Meadow St. will be back open Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Monday on New Year’s Eve from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.