August is National Immunization Awareness Month
OSWEGO — August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and the Oswego County Health Department is extending its immunization clinic hours to accommodate children who need back-to-school vaccinations as well as any county resident who needs to update their immunizations.
National data shows that many people skipped their routine health visits during the early months of the pandemic.
“During these uncertain times with COVID-19, it is important to remember important health routines like keeping well-child visits and getting recommended vaccinations,” said Anna Reitz, Public Health Nurse and Immunization Coordinator for the County Health Department. “We want to be able to avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease. Staying up-to-date on your immunizations is the best way to do that. We encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse, or other health care professional to ensure that you, your child, and your family are up to date on recommended vaccines.”
COVID-19 has changed the way that services are delivered in the community, and the County Health Department now requires appointments for all immunization services.
Appointments are available Tuesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The department will hold Wednesday evening immunization clinics from 4-6 p.m. from Aug. 5 to Aug. 26. Saturday appointments will be available from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 12 and Sept. 19.
Immunization clinics are located at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic at 70 Bunner St., Oswego. Individuals who do not have an appointment will be turned away and asked to schedule an appointment at a later date.
“These extended hours are meant to accommodate parents of children needing vaccinations before returning to school, as well as Oswego County residents who were unable to get an appointment with their primary care provider for immunization,” said Jodi Martin, supervising Public Health Nurse.
“Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious disease,” said Martin. “Immunization is one the best tools society has in keeping people healthy and protecting them from illness. Vaccinating on time, and following the recommended schedule is the best way to protect from serious vaccine-preventable disease.”
The Health Department participates with UMR- Pomco Select, Excellus BCBS, Fidelis, United Health Care (Community Plan only), Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicaid, and Medicare. All patients should bring their insurance benefit cards with them to the immunization clinic. For those covered by other insurance providers, the health department will provide a receipt that may be submitted to an insurance provider for possible reimbursement. For those who are uninsured, the County Health Department may be able to provide the vaccine at a reduced rate. No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.
For more information and to schedule an appointment for vaccinations, call 315-349-3547, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or visit health.oswegocounty.com/programs/1_preventive/immunizations/index.php.