During the flu outbreak in spring 2009, public hospital emergency departments in New York saw a 35 percent increase in visits during May -- the height of the H1N1 scare - and in some places the volume went up by 50 percent or more.
To make vaccines available to the general public
beyond HHC patients, the public hospital system has designated 11 Flu Shot
Centers for adults and children to offer the seasonal flu vaccination and
the H1N1 vaccination as it becomes available. Located in all five
boroughs, the centers will reduce traffic in some emergency departments
and in hospital outpatient clinics, where people would go to seek
vaccinations if they don't have their own doctor. Click
to get a complete list of HHC Flu Shot Center locations.
"We learned a lot last spring, not just about
H1N1, but also about the most effective strategies to deal with a cascade
of patients flooding our emergency departments.” said HHC President Alan Aviles. “These Centers are part of our overall plan to ensure that the public, our patients and our employees get the best form of protection against the flu and can access vaccinations at little or no cost.”
The centers will provide
walk-in service for flu vaccinations only -- seasonal flu vaccinations
and H1N1 vaccinations, when they become available. Flu shots will be provided
at no cost to children under 20 years of age, uninsured adults
who are registered as qualified for HHC's sliding scale fees, and all people who seek flu shots on Staten Island. Other uninsured adults will be billed $30 but can apply for retroactive reimbursement, if they qualify for HHC's sliding scale fee. If a patient is insured, their insurance carrier will be billed.
Hours of operation for the 11 Fast Track
Flu Shot Centers
are Monday through Friday,
1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. HHC’s Mobile Medical Office on Staten Island will also offer vaccinations at five community-based sites, Mondays through Fridays, 1 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Flu vaccinations are also available at numerous other locations throughout
the city. Elementary school children will have free H1N1
vaccines available to them at their school with parental consent later this
month. The flu shot will also be available on weekends at designated
neighborhood schools for middle and high school students. For
additional locations, the City Department of Health features a flu locator
on its web site, www.nyc.gov/flu, that is searchable by borough or ZIP code. New Yorkers can also call 311 for more information.