Public health authorities in the Middletown area have launched a mass vaccination campaign involving a series of flu shot clinics.
"It's extraordinarily important people get their flu shot," said Mayor Dan Drew, "particularly for young children and particularly for the elderly."
The vaccine is FluBlok, developed by Meriden-based Protein Sciences Corporation.
"I've been saying for at least the last 15 years it's time to produce a vaccine without using eggs and preservatives," said Middletown Health Director Dr. Joe Havlicek.
Using DNA from a small part of the flu virus makes the vaccine safer for people with allergies. Health directors hope it will produce a better immune response.
Some years, the flu virus is vicious. Authorities don't know about this year's model yet but they do know October is the time for flu vaccine.
"The virus that goes around mutates as it travels, so seniors, the best thing they can do to protect themselves is get the flu shot, get the flu shot, get the flu shot," explained Cromwell Health Director Wesley Bell.
Residents can receive the vaccine for free at one of six scheduled mass vaccination clinics in Middletown, Cromwell and Durham.
"We're offering vaccine to anybody who wants it, regardless of insurance," said Salvatore Nesci of the Middletown Health Department. "Nobody will be turned away."
The clinics will be held as follows:
- Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Middletown Senior Center
- Oct. 6, 13 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Middletown City Hall
- Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cromwell firehouse on Coles Road
- Nov. 3 at the Durham Activity Center from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Residents receiving flu shots should bring identification and insurance cards.