By Maria Brasco
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Who doesn’t love an extra holiday gift? Camden County Department of Health and Human Services gave many students and faculty of Camden County College the gift of protecting themselves from the flu. Thursday, Dec. 8 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the county provided free flu shots in the Atrium area of the Connector Building.

At the entrance of the Atrium, a county worker gave you papers that needed to be filled out prior to your shot. A gentleman stood in the room in case you had any questions while filling out the paperwork. After the paperwork was filled out completely, another worker initialed it and sent you to the nurse’s station where the shot was administered.

“The whole process took about 10 minutes. It was quick and easy, and now I’m protected for the coming flu season,” explained student Lauren Higgins.

Students were informed of the free service via automated phone call and email. All CCC students, faculty and residents of Camden County were permitted to participate in this free service.

All people 6 months of age and older are encouraged by the county and the Centers for Disease Control to get the flu vaccine. Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease that is spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal secretions. Each year thousands of people die from seasonal influenza and even more are hospitalized. By getting vaccinated, you’re protecting yourself and the ones you love. Protection lasts about a year.

The inactivated (killed) vaccine is given by injection into the muscle. Getting the vaccine as soon as it is available will provide the best defense. The flu can occur at any time, but “flu season” usually is from November through May. In recent years, January and February are when the disease peaks. Get familiar with asking your doctor questions to further your protection.

For any additional information, contact the CDC at 1-800-232-4636 or http://www.cdc.gov/flu. Camden County has other opportunities to receive your free flu shot. Check out its website for future clinics, http://www.camdencounty.com/health.

“Thanks Camden County for the yearlong gift of the flu shot!” a smiling Higgins exclaimed.

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