The Huron County General Health District will offer several ways for residents to receive their seasonal influenza vaccine this year.
There will be two "drive-thru" clinics, and shots can be scheduled at any of the Health District's three clinic locations Norwalk, Willard and Bellevue. Pneumonia vaccine will also be available at either "drive-thru clinic" or by appointment at a health district office.
The first "drive-thru" clinic will be held from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Oct. 12 at the Bellevue VFW, 6104 US 20 East, Bellevue.
The second "drive-thru" clinic will be held at the Huron County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 18. Gates will open at 8 a.m.; staff will begin to give shots at 9.
The "drive-thru" clinic is a quicker more convenient setup that allows residents to remain in their vehicles. Only those age 18 and older will be vaccinated at the "drive-thru" clinics.
"The 'drive-thru' allows us to serve more people in less time, and is especially convenient for those who may have trouble walking or sitting for extended periods of time," said Chris Cherry, RN, BSN, director of nursing for the health district.
If you are unable to make the "drive-thru" clinics, you may call (419) 668-1652 or (888) 694-2443, ext. 252 to make an appointment to receive the flu shot at the Norwalk, Willard or Bellevue office. This option allows residents to select a time and location most convenient for them. Minors more than 6 months old can get their flu shots by appointment through the health district.
The cost of the flu shot will be $20 at all locations. Medicare and Medicaid are accepted for the "drive-thru" clinic and office visits. The cost of the pneumonia vaccine will be $50. Because the health district cannot be a private insurance provider, those with private insurance will be required to pay at the time of service and will be given the paperwork to submit for reimbursement.
There is no vaccine shortage this year. The health district has ordered plenty of the seasonal flu vaccine.
It is important to remember that while the vaccine may be available at the beginning of October, here in Ohio, 'flu season' doesn't peak until February or March. Staff cautions people against getting the vaccine too early because its effectiveness declines over time. The best time to get your flu shot is in October or November, but it is not too late to receive the vaccine in December, January or even into spring.
Seasonal flu vaccine comes in two types. The flu shot contains inactive (or killed) virus and is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The nasal-spray flu vaccine contains attenuated (or weakened) virus and is delivered through a nasal sprayer. Both types of vaccine contain three influenza virus types that are chosen based upon which strains of flu virus have been circulating. Because the types of flu contained in the vaccine change from year to year and because your immunity from the vaccine wears off over time, it is important to get a flu shot every year. Only the flu shots (inactive virus) will be available at the "drive-thru" clinics.
The flu vaccine protects you from influenza, not other illnesses. Influenza is a respiratory disease, with symptoms being fever (usually high), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and body aches. Stomach symptoms can accompany other flu symptoms with influenza (particularly in children), but influenza is not primarily a gastrointestinal illness with symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea.
For more information contact Cherry at (419) 668-1652, ext. 230.