Health District ‘Vote & Vax’ Program, At NMS On Election Day

On November 5, Newtown residents are invited to exercise their civic duty while protecting their health and the health of their family and loved ones. For the second consecutive year, the Newtown Health District will be hosting Vote & Vax at the Newtown Middle School. 

This coordinated public health outreach offers flu vaccinations to residents who want them on Election Day.

“The idea is the resident is taking the time to go to their polling place to vote, and while they are there, they can conveniently visit another area at the building at the Newtown Middle School and get a flu shot,” said Health District Director Donna Culbert.

Bethel Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), with support from the Newtown VNA and the Health District, will be providing those flu shots for visitors to the polls on Tuesday. The middle school session will run from 3 to 7 pm.

Bethel VNA will accept the following insurance to cover the cost of shots: Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Connecticut, Connecticare,  Medicare Part B, Aetna Medicare Advantage, Anthem Medicare Advantage, ConnectiCare Medicare VIP.

There is no charge for vaccines for all children age 4 and under, nor for children 18 years or younger who are Medicaid or Husky A/B enrolled, have no health insurance/self-pay, are American Indian or Alaskan Native, or underinsured

Newtown VNA will help to provide flu shots to residents who do not have health insurance.


Take 3 Actions To Fight The Flu

The Newtown Health District and the Newtown VNA want residents to heed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “Take 3 Actions to Fight the Flu.”

Flulike symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

1. Take time to get a flu vaccine.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as vaccines are available.

Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.  People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, and people 65 years and older.

Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.

Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.

2. Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

The CDC recommends anyone who is sick with flulike illness stay home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash after using it.

Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

3. Take flu antiviral drugs if prescribed by a physician.

Antiviral drugs — which are different than antibiotics —  can treat the flu. These are prescription medicines (pills, liquid, or an inhaled powder); they are not available over the counter.

Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the duration of sickness. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For people with high risk factors, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.

Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health or is very sick from the flu. Follow a doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.

For additional information, with the Health District website or call 203-270-4291.

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