Health Department Announces Flu Schedule

Created on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:35

Contact: Collette Duvalle, 317-373-2391

The Marion County Public Health Department will hold its annual community flu clinics beginning October 1 and will run through November 13.

A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing. It is not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with the flu viruses as they change.

“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.”

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. The flu can cause fever, sore throat, cough, headaches, fatigue, chills and muscle aches.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 5 percent and 20 percent 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.

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 live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications include household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease.

CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against influenza as soon as 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.

Influenza vaccines are $15, pneumococcal vaccines are $40, tetanus (Td or Tdap) are $20 and vaccinations for children under two are free. Medicare and Medicaid will be accepted.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

Community flu clinic locations include:

October 1 (Monday)
Old Bethel United Methodist Church
7995 E. 21st Street
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

October 2 (Tuesday)
Southport Presbyterian Church
7515 McFarland Boulevard
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

October 4 (Thursday)
South District Health Office
505 E. National
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

October 5 (Friday)
Northwest District Health Office
6940 N. Michigan Road
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

October 10 (Wednesday)
Jewish Community Center
6701 Hoover Road
3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

October 16 (Tuesday)
Southport United Methodist Church
1947 E. Southport Road
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

October 16 (Tuesday)
Northeast District Health Office
6042 E. 21st Street
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

October 25 (Thursday)
Cathedral Kitchen
1350 N. Pennsylvania
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

November 1 (Thursday)
Georgetown Office
3972 Georgetown Road
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

November 8 (Thursday)
Chin Community Center
2532 E. Stop 11 Road
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

November 13 (Tuesday)
Northeast District Health Office
6042 E. 21st Street
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

For more information, call the Flu Clinic Hotline at 317-221-2121.