Mike Oricko, Health Commissioner at the Fulton County Health Department wishes to remind the citizens of Fulton County that flu season will soon be here again. “This year there should be plenty of vaccine available for everyone 6 months of age and older. There are no restrictions as to who can receive vaccine.” The Health Department begins its vaccination campaign on Thursday, September 12th and is offering clinics by appointment, walk-in clinics, clinics for children and their parents, and clinics in county communities. Each flu season the World Health Organization (WHO) monitors the circulating flu strains around the world and decides which strains will go into the next year’s vaccine. This year the flu vaccine contains the H1N1, H3N2, and the influenza B Massachusetts virus strains. Vaccine Manufacturers have also produced a quadrivalent vaccine which contains an additional “B” (Brisbane) virus. The nasal spray vaccine will contain protection against all four strains and is available at FCHD. Unfortunately, the injectable type of quadrivalent vaccine is available in limited quantities. The Health Department was not chosen to receive quadrivalent vaccine, so the standard trivalent vaccine will be given.
Several years ago a new High-Dose flu vaccine was introduced for people age 65 years and older. Studies have found that older adults were not responding as well to the standard-dose influenza vaccine so this higher dose vaccine was developed. It has a slightly different formulation to boost immunity levels in persons ages 65+. This age group typically has a higher rate of flu-related illness, hospitalization and death. “Because this vaccine has been well tolerated”, Oricko states, “we will be using it to vaccinate all adults over the age of 65, but persons will have the option of receiving the standard formulation if they choose“.
A newer method of administering influenza vaccine is available and involves using a microinjection system with a 90% smaller needle to give the vaccine intradermally. The vaccine goes into the skin (dermis) instead of the muscle. This is the same vaccine used in the regular flu shot but it is given in a new way. Because the vaccine is in a pre-filled syringe, there are no preservatives in the vaccine.
FluMist, an intranasal flu vaccine, will also be offered to healthy individuals between the ages of 2 and 49 years. This may be of interest to those who want to protect themselves from the flu but fear getting a shot. The cost of the FluMist is the same as the flu shot.
The cost of the flu shot is $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children ages 6 months through 18 years, but no one will be turned away because of inability to pay. Hi-dose flu vaccine will cost $38.00 per dose but for those with Medicare Plan B coverage, the cost will be billed to Medicare.
If you have an insurance plan that replaces your Medicare B, you should consider receiving your vaccination through your healthcare provider to assure coverage. Most private physicians also offer seasonal flu shots to their patients.
We are now billing Anthem, Medical Mutual, Paramount, and TriCare Insurances as well as Medicaid (Buckeye, Paramount Advantage, Molina, and Ohio Medicaid).
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-Adults preferred Call to make appointment.
September 12 – Thursday – 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
• Walk-In Clinics for Adults
September 26 – Thursday – 9:00 am – 12 Noon & 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
October 24 – Thursday – 9:00 am – 12 Noon & 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. (All ages)
October 29 – Tuesday – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (Fulton County Senior Center 240 Clinton St., Wauseon, Ohio)
• Family Flu Clinic For children and their parents. Call to make appointment.
October 10 – Thursday – 2:00 – 6:00 pm
• Community Walk-In Clinics (Adults and Children)
October 1 – Tuesday – Archbold Library – 12:00-5:00 pm – 205 Stryker St. Archbold, OH
October 9 – Wednesday – Swanton Public Library – 12:00-5:30 pm – 305 Chestnut St. Swanton, OH
October 15 – Tuesday – Evergreen Community Library – 1:00-5:30 pm – 253 Maple St. Metamora, OH
October 22 – Tuesday – Fayette Opera House – 1:00-5:30 pm – 105 E. Main St. Fayette, OH
October 23 – Wednesday – Delta Open Door – 12:00-5:30 pm – 104 Monroe St. Delta, OH
October 30 – Wednesday – Lyons Fire Station – 12:00-5:30 pm – W. Morenci St. Lyons, OH
• Beginning September 30, 2013, Adult flu shots by appointment every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
• Beginning October 11, 2013, Children and their parents flu shots by appointment during Friday Immunization clinics and the first and third Thursday Immunization clinics.