Mike Oricko, Health Commissioner at the Fulton County Health Department wishes to remind the citizens of Fulton County that flu season is quickly approaching; being vaccinated against the flu is the best way to protect you from this respiratory illness. “There are no restrictions as to who can receive vaccine and there is plenty of vaccine available for everyone 6 months of age and older.” Your Health Department will provide flu vaccines by appointment every Monday beginning September 15th and the first “walk-in” clinic of the season will be held on Thursday, September 25th at the 606 S. Shoop Ave location. There will also be appointment clinics for children and their parents and “walk-in” clinics at various locations throughout the county. This year all flu vaccines contain the H1N1, H3N2, and the influenza B/Massachusetts virus strains. The quadrivalent vaccine contains the above three strains plus the additional B/Brisbane strain.
For years, the flu vaccine has offered protection from the top three strains of flu viruses scientists predicted would be circulating during the flu season. The vaccine contained two different “A” strains and one “B” strain of flu. This is a “trivalent” vaccine. With additional testing of people with influenza, scientists determined that children and younger adults are more likely to become ill from the “B” strains of influenza. As a result, it was decided that a “quadrivalent” vaccine would be produced. It protects against two “A” strains and two “B” strains of influenza virus.
There is also a “high-dose” influenza vaccine for people age 65 and above. This vaccine has four times as much antigen per strain in the vaccine. The Health Department has been giving “high-dose” vaccine to the 65+ population for the past two years. The “high-dose” vaccine provides a much higher immune response in this group and protects against three strains of virus. Researchers also found that this group of people has better protection against “B” viruses than younger people through previous exposure; it’s not as likely that an older adult will become ill with a “B” strain of influenza. As a result, it’s much better for the person to get “high-dose” trivalent vaccine than the new quadrivalent vaccine.
So, as you head out to get your flu shots this year, be sure you get the “high-dose” vaccine if you are age 65 and older. If you are younger, be sure you are getting the “quadrivalent” vaccine. When you see flu shots advertised, you’ll probably notice that some are cheaper than others. Just remember that you may not be comparing apples-to-apples! The quadrivalent will cost more, but will give better protection. Be sure to ask what type of vaccine is being given. Of course, the important thing is to get vaccinated!
Your Fulton County Health Department will be giving quadrivalent vaccine to all persons under the age of 65 as well as the “high-dose” vaccine for those aged 65 and above. Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurances are paying for influenza vaccines. You will not be paying the increased cost for these vaccines “out-of-pocket”. Be sure to check your plan’s coverage. Your Health Department is contracted with seven health insurance companies, a majority of the Medicare plans, and Medicaid.
For those who do not have insurance or a plan with which the Health Department is contracted, the cost is $40 for quadrivalent vaccine for children and adults through age 64. The high-dose vaccine for persons aged 65 and above is $55. A sliding fee scale is available for the administration fee for those persons without insurance.
Approximately 36,000 people die in the U.S. each year of the seasonal flu and its complications. The symptoms of influenza include fever, chills, upper respiratory congestion with cough, body aches and fatigue. Because it takes about two weeks after receiving the flu vaccine for protection against the flu, the CDC recommends that people be vaccinated as soon as vaccine is available. “Everyone is at risk for the flu”, Oricko states. “Take the time to get a vaccination for yourself and encourage your family members to do the same.“
The Fulton County Health Department will be offering vaccinations at 606 S Shoop Avenue and other locations on the dates and times listed below. For updates visit us on or our website at www.fultoncountyhealthdept.com.
Clinic By Appointment
Call 419-337-0915 to make appointment. Adults preferred.
Mondays beginning September 15 through October 6, 8:30am –4:00 pm
Walk-In Clinics for Adults
Thursday, September 25, 10:00 am-12:00 Noon and 1:30 – 6:00 pm
Thursday, October 9, 8:00 am-12:00 Noon
Thursday, October 23, 10:00 am–12:00 Noon
Mondays, beginning October 20, 2014, adults may walk in for flu vaccinations from 8:30am – 4:00 pm
Walk-In Clinics for Adults at other locations
Tuesday, October 7, 9:30 am-2:30 pm @ Road to Wellness, St. Caspar Church
Thursday, November 6, 10:00 am-2:00 pm @ Fulton County Senior Center, Wauseon
Thursday, November 13, 10:30 am-12:30 pm @ Northwest State Community College
Family Flu Clinic
For children and their parents. Call 419-337-0915 to make appointment.
Thursday, October 9, 2:00–6:00 pm
Thursday, October 23, 2:00–6:00 pm
Will also be given during regular immunization clinics when available
1st & 3rd Thursday of Every Month from 2:00-6:00 pm and every Friday from 8:30am-12:00 Noon
Community Walk-In Clinics
Adults and Children
Tuesday, October 21, Fayette Opera House, 105 E. Main St. Fayette,OH 2:00-5:30 pm
Tuesday, October 28, Lyons Fire Station, W. Morenci St. Lyons, OH, 2:00-5:30 pm