NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency Saturday, as the flu epidemic rocked the nation and hospitals and urgent care centers saw huge crowds.
The declaration allows pharmacists to administer flu shots to anyone between the ages of 6 months and 18 years.
While the public health emergency may sound scary, Dr. Mary O’Brien at Columbia University said it is no reason to panic.
“The majority of us get the flu, we feel miserable for a week and then we get better,” she said.
O’Brien told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith the main aspect of Cuomo’s order opens up availability for children to get vaccinated.
She added that the governor’s declaration will also raise awareness, and some more people will get the flu shot.
“It’s a very safe shot. It’s an inactive shot,” she said. “It’s not a live vaccine, so it has very few side effects.”