Published on January 01, 2017

Free Flu Vaccinations at Chestnut Hill Hospital

Flu Season is in full swing!
It’s not too late to get a flu shot

As doctor’s offices, urgent care centers and hospitals are seeing, flu season is active, with hospitalization rates close to what they were two years ago. Flu is one of the nation's leading causes of death, with roughly 24,000 people a year dying from flu and its complications. Latest figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show the flu hitting hard.

Chestnut Hill Hospital has seen a growing number of flu-symptomatic patients in the emergency room since October. Numerous patients have also been admitted for treatment of flu-related complications.

While health officials fear this will be an unusually bad year for flu, it's too soon to say. The timing of the flu is unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February but can continue as late as May.

The good news: it’s not too late to get the flu shot. Even if the flu season peaks soon, it will still be around for months.

Chestnut Hill Hospital is offering a free flu vaccination clinic to help our community take this important step for prevention. At the times listed below, people interested in receiving a flu shot may walk in the Patient Entrance of the Emergency Room at Chestnut Hill Hospital, 8835 Germantown Avenue.

Scheduled for Free Flu Shots: 
Monday, January 26; 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Wednesday, January 28; 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday, January 30; noon-2:00 p.m.

"Vaccination is the simplest step you can take to protect yourself," says John Cacciamani, MD, internal medicine, and CHH, CEO. "More often than not, the patients I see who have the flu did not take this action to protect themselves or their family."

There are three main things you can do to be safe this flu season:

  • Vaccinate. Get the flu shot for yourself and everyone in your family. It’s available at your doctor’s office and many urgent care centers in our area, with many offering same-day appointments. The CDC recommends everyone older than six months, except people with severe egg allergies, get immunized. Both shot and nasal spray vaccine forms are safe and effective and rarely have side effects.
  • Get Treatment. If you do get the flu, your doctor or an urgent care center can prescribe antiviral medication to treat flu illness and prevent serious flu complications. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses are particularly vulnerable to catching the flu and experiencing complications. It’s important to treat high-risk individuals promptly to avoid hospitalization. Treatment with antiviral medication works best when begun within 48 hours of getting sick, but can still be beneficial when given later in the course of illness. These drugs can also lessen serious flu complications.
  • Prevention. Stay away from sick people and wash your hands frequently to reduce the spread of germs. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and resist touching your eyes, mouth and nose. Avoid close contact with people who have the flu or symptoms and if you’re sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others.

“Though this year’s flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, it’s the best way to protect against flu infection,” says Dr. Cacciamani. "Caregivers at our physician practices and within the Hospital take the safety of our patients seriously, and we’ve had a high participation rate with voluntary vaccination efforts among our clinicians and physicians.

“People at high risk for developing flu-related complications including: children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old; adults 65 years of age and older; pregnant women; and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities should be vaccinated.”

For more information on the flu, visit the special flu section at CHESTNUTHILLHEALTH.COM. To find a primary care doctor visit the “Find a Doctor” link on the home page or call 215-753-2000.

Chestnut Hill Hospital (CHH) is a community-based, university-affiliated, teaching hospital committed to excellent patient-centered care. CHH provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient, diagnostic and treatment services for our neighbors in northwest Philadelphia and eastern Montgomery County. More than 300 board-certified physicians comprise the medical staff and support medical specialties including minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery, cardiology, gynecology, oncology, orthopedics, urology, family practice and internal medicine. Our comprehensive services include primary care practices, two women’s centers and an off-site physical therapy center. CHH is affiliated with university-hospitals in Philadelphia for heart, stroke and cancer care, as well as our hospitalist and residency programs. Chestnut Hill has 132-beds and is accredited by the Joint Commission.