The Madison Health Department is administering flu shots to Madison residents age 50 and older at the Madison Civic Center Friday.
Seasonal influenza vaccinations are being given from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Civic Center
Shots are free to seniors with a Medicare Part B card. They're $25 without card. Wear short sleeves if possible.
The department's website says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccinations for everyone over the age of 6 months, especially healthcare personnel and close contacts of children younger than 6 months.
"Most people are ill with flu for only a few days, but some get much sicker and may need to be hospitalized," the department website says. "Influenza causes an average of 36,000 deaths each year in the U.S., mostly among the elderly."
This year's flu vaccine offers protection against A/California (H1N1), A/Victoria (H3N2) and B/Massachusetts, the expected strains of seasonal flu. It can take up to two weeks for protection to develop after the shot, and protection can last for up to a year.
"Since most influenza occurs from November through May, now is the best time to get a flu shot to insure full protection for the whole season," the department says. "However, vaccinations may be given any time during the flu season."
For more information call the Madison Health Department at 973-593-3079 ext. 9.