The Department of Health will offer free influenza vaccines at the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show, Jan. 5-11 from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
To date, influenza cases have been reported in all Pennsylvania counties with a number of nursing homes experiencing outbreaks.
“While the flu made an early appearance this year, we still have not peaked, which means there are still many weeks ahead where we anticipate seeing a lot of flu activity,” Acting Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. “It is not too late to get vaccinated, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t already done so to take advantage of the free flu vaccine being offered at the Farm Show.”
Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive the vaccine. Appointments are not needed.
The flu strains causing illness in Pennsylvania appear to be well-matched to this year’s vaccine. While the department recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months, the vaccine is especially important for older individuals, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions that place them at increased risk of complications from the flu.
The current flu-related illness in Pennsylvania is mostly due to type A influenza H3N2; the type of flu most often linked to more severe flu seasons. This form of the flu can also be treated with antiviral drugs, especially when recognized early.
The department will also provide information on several topics such as smoking cessation, lead poisoning prevention, organ donation, women’s wellness and how special populations can prepare for an emergency. Additional vendors will include health and wellness organizations from across the state.
The Department of Health will be featured in the Main Hall by the carousel located near the Maclay Street lobby area.
The 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 5-12 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free, and parking is $10. For more information, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.