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Free flu shots offered Saturday in Riverhead

A flu vaccine is administered at the Brownsville

A flu vaccine is administered at the Brownsville Events Center in Brownsville, Texas. Credit: AP / Miguel Roberts

Suffolk residents will have another opportunity to get free flu shots Saturday in Riverhead, as county officials continue to take steps to curb the spread of influenza.

Residents 6 months and older can get free immunization Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Riverhead Library, 330 Court St. in Riverhead; the entrance is on Osborne Avenue.

The immunization campaign was announced as hospitalizations for the flu declined statewide for the second week running, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who on Thursday extended his executive order promoting flu vaccination.

A report released Friday by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted the first signs this season of flu activity declining nationwide. Doctor visits for treatment of the wintertime respiratory illness and its accompanying aches, chills and hacking coughs, dropped from 7.5 percent of all physician visits last week to 6.4 percent this week, the CDC said.

Suffolk County’s Department of Health Services is offering the shots at no charge in response to the governor’s declaration of a public health emergency, County Executive Steve Bellone and Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken said in a news release.

All residents 6 months of age and older who have not already gotten shots are urged to do so as soon as possible, they said.

Tomarken urged residents to get immunization against the flu, not only to protect themselves but others who might be especially vulnerable — including infants too young to be immunized, pregnant women and older residents with health conditions.