Fight the Flu - Cold, wintry weather brings an increased chance of catching the flu ("influenza") or common cold. Both are respiratory illnesses that have similar symptoms including fever, body aches, extreme tiredness and dry cough. The flu is usually more severe than a cold, and may lead to complications including bronchitis and pneumonia as well as a worsening of certain chronic heart problems. In general, children under 5 years old and seniors who are over 65 years old are at a higher risk for developing flu related complications. Common colds and the flu are spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing, or by direct contact with infected people or contaminated objects. Covering sneezes and coughs, washing your hands, and staying home when sick are common sense ways to help prevent catching the common cold and the flu. The best way to prevent the flu is to get an annual influenza vaccination from your doctor or neighborhood pharmacy. This year, the Baltimore City Health Department's T.I.K.E. clinics offer flu vaccinations to children and adolescents who are 6 months to 18 years old. There is also a limited supply of flu vaccinations for adults. Here is BCHD's influenza fact sheet that provides information about symptoms, warning signs, and treatment. [BCHD Flu Information Sheet]
The Baltimore City Health Department’s Immunization Program offers services to help prevent vaccine preventable disease, to conduct disease surveillance, and to provide and monitor immunization related health education and community outreach.
- Free T.I.K.E. Clinics to those children and adolescents who qualify. A limited supply of adult immunizations may also be available with a $25 suggested donation for each vaccination. [TIKE Clinic Schedule February 2018] Call: 410-396-4454.
- Baltimore’s Immunization Registry Project (B.I.R.P.) works with Maryland MDH’s ImmuNET immunization information system to collect and securely disclose vaccination records for children – adolescents – young adults. Call: 410-545-3048.
- Education and Outreach to individual children who are delayed in their recommended immunizations, and to neighborhoods at risk for under immunization. Call: 410-396-4454
- Peri Natal Hepatitis-B Surveillance. Call: 410-396-7575
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I get immunizations for my child? We recommend going to your child’s doctor. If you do not have a medical provider, have Medicaid insurance, or do not have medical insurance that covers immunizations, you can come to our T.I.K.E. (To Immunize Kids Everywhere) Clinics. We encourage you to call for an appointment at 410-396-4454. [TIKE Clinic Schedule February 2018]
- How can I get my influenza ("flu") shot? You can take four effective, common sense measures to help prevent yourself and others from catching the flu including: (1) covering your sneezes and coughs; (2) washing your hands; (3) staying home when sick; and, (4) getting vaccinated. This year, our T.I.K.E. clinics will be giving flu vaccinations to children and adolescents who qualify (see above). For those who do not qualify for T.I.K.E. services, please ask your doctor or neighborhood pharmacy for this year's flu shot. T.I.K.E. clinics will also have a limited number of adult flu vaccinations with a $25 suggested donation to help cover costs.
- How can I make sure my child will meet their school’s immunization requirements? All children and young adults need to have an up-to-date copy of their immunization record to be enrolled in licensed day care or in school. If you would like assistance in determining whether or not your child has their required immunizations, please bring their shot record to their school’s health suite, your child’s doctor, or to our TIKE clinic. [Maryland School Vaccine Requirements Year 2017-2018]
- How can I get a copy of my child’s or my shot record? We may be able to retrieve a copy of your or your child’s immunization record as transcribed into the BIRP-ImmuNET registry. Please call us at 410-545-3048.
- How can I get more information about immunizations? [Maryland Department of Health's Center for Immunization] [CDC Commonly Asked Questions for Parents] [CDC "Vacunas e immunizacion"]
- How can I get information sheets on immunizations in another language? [Immunization Action Coalition]
Baltimore City Health Department
620 N Caroline Street
Baltimore MD 21205
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