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> Medical Director Urges Tompkins County Residents to Get a Flu Vaccination

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Thursday, December 16, 2010

For more information contact:
Karen Bishop at 607-274-6604 or Theresa Lyczko at 274-6714


Medical Director Urges Tompkins County Residents to Get a Flu Vaccination

December 16, 2010 – (Ithaca, N.Y.) Tompkins County residents may have heard recent media reports of the death of a 4 year-old Westchester County boy who died as a result of complications from the flu. The boy had not received the flu vaccine and had been previously healthy. He became ill in November and had been hospitalized until he died the first week in December of bacterial pneumonia, which can be a complication of the flu.

William Klepack, MD, Tompkins County Health Department’s Medical Director urges County residents to get a flu shot if they haven’t received one already. “There have been members of the public who have decided not to get a flu shot this season. I want to remind them that there can be serious complications from the flu that require hospitalization or at the very least being ill and out of work or school for a week or more. And in some cases some people may not recover from flu complications.” There are still opportunities to get a flu shot, he added. “Urge your friends and family to stay healthy this winter season and protect themselves against the flu.”

He noted that the 2010–11 seasonal flu vaccine provides protection against the H1N1 virus as well as two other circulating viruses — the A/H3N2 and an influenza B virus. There is plenty of vaccine available; vaccination is the best protection against the flu. It is important to be vaccinated this flu season even if they received the H1N1 late last season. Immunity wanes over time and they won’t be protected against the two other circulating strains if they’re not vaccinated during the 2010–11 flu season.

The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is scheduling several flu clinics at its location at 55 Brown Road (near the airport):

Walk-In Adult and Child Flu Clinics

  • Friday, December 17 – 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
  • Monday, December 20 – 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 21 – 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 22 – 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

On December 23 and December 27 through December 30 TCHD will provide flu shots by appointment. Call (607) 274-6609. Residents may also call their primary care provider.

The Health Department bills Medicare Part B. The cost is $35 for flu shots. Adults 19 years of age and above may pay in cash. Flu shots for children 6 months of age to 18 years of age are free.

Basic prevention practices are always important to keep in mind to prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory diseases.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol based sanitizer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue during coughs and sneezes; discard the tissue.
  • Keep your hands away from your face, eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Clean frequently used surfaces such as door knobs, telephones, key boards.
  • Stay home from school, work, social engagements if you have flu symptoms to protect others.

For more information call 607- 274-6609 or go to  or