The Marion County Public Health Department will hold its annual community flu clinics beginning Monday, October 1, 2012. Clinics are scheduled through Tuesday, November 13, 2012.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. The flu can cause fever, sore throat, cough, headaches, fatigue, chills, and muscle aches. A flu vaccine is needed every year due to flu viruses constantly changing. It is not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each season. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with the flu viruses as they change.
The vaccine is recommended by the CDC for anyone who is at least 6 months of age and older. It is especially important for some people to get vaccinated. People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu include:
- People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease
- Pregnant women
- People 65 year and older
- Those that live with or care for others with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
“Health care providers play an important role in advising their patients to get vaccinated each year and should also protect themselves, their patients, their family, and the community from influenza by getting vaccinated,” said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director of the Marion County Public Health Department. “It is especially important to get vaccinated this year because two of the three virus strains used in this season’s influenza vaccines differ from the strains included in last year’s vaccines.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 5% and 20% of the U.S. population develops influenza each year. This leads to more than 200,000 hospitalizations from related complications. Influenza seasons are unpredictable and can be severe, with annual influenza-related deaths ranging from a low of about 3,000 to a high of 49,000 people in the U.S.
CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against influenza as soon as the 2012-2013 flu season vaccine becomes available. Influenza seasons are unpredictable and can begin as early as October. In Marion County, the flu season can last from now through late April.
Through the Health Department, vaccine pricing is as follows:
- Influenza vaccines = $15
- Pneumococcal vaccines = $40
- Tetanus (Td or Tdap) = $20
- Vaccinations for children under two are free
*Medicare and Medicaid will be accepted.
Community flu clinic locations include:
Monday, October 1, 2012, 9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
- Old Bethel United Methodist Church, 7995 E. 21st Street
Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 9:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.
- Southport Presbyterian Church, 7515 McFarland Boulevard
Thursday, October 4, 2012, 2:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.
- South District Health Office, 505 E. National
Friday, October 5, 2012, 9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
- Northwest District Health Office, 6940 N. Michigan Road
Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 3:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.
- Jewish Community Center, 6701 Hoover Rd.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 9:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.
- Southport United Methodist Church, 1947 E. Southport Road
Thursday, October 25, 2012, 9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
- Cathedral Kitchen, 1305 N. Pennsylvania
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
- Georgetown Office, 3972 Georgetown Road
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
- Chin Community Center, 2532 E. Stop 11 Rd.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
- Northeast District Health Office, 6042 E. 21st St.
For more information, call the Flu Clinic Hotline at (317) 221-2121.