With the beginning of flu season upon us, Mahaska Health Partnership has begun offering flu vaccinations through Public Health.
“The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that hospitals and other health agencies begin offering the vaccine as soon as it is available,” MHP Public Health Coordinator Patty Malloy said. “They also encourage everyone to get the vaccine as soon as possible to provide protection if the flu season comes early. It takes up to two weeks for protection to develop after vaccination, and the protection lasts about a year.”
MHP Public Health will hold Walk-In Clinics starting September 14. Clinics will be held on Mondays from 8 am to Noon and Thursdays from 1 to 4 pm on the MHP campus, entrance #1. Evening appointments are available upon request by calling 641.673.3257.
Another opportunity to receive a flu vaccination will be the Drive-Thru Clinic on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 7 am to Noon. Vaccinations will be given under the teal awning at entrance #1, located at 1229 C Avenue East. Recipients will be able to get their vaccine without ever leaving their vehicle.
Influenza is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal secretions. According to Malloy, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. There are three types of vaccines:
- The shot: an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) is given with a needle. The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. This year’s vaccination will protect against four strains of the virus.
- The nasal spray flu vaccine: a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu. Sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine,” the nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in healthy people, 2-49 years of age. The mist is not recommended for everyone, check with your healthcare provider.
- The high dose shot: similar to the regular flu vaccine, but containing four times the amount of antigen (the component that helps make the body immune to the flu) than the regular shot. This increased level of antigens is designed to create a stronger immune response in people who are at a greater risk of severe illness from the flu. These vaccines are only available to adults 65 years of age and older.
At the Public Health Walk-in and Drive-thru Clinics, the cost is $25 for the shot or nasal spray (flu-mist) and $30 for high dose shots. Medicare Part B can be billed with proof of card.
For more information regarding flu vaccination clinics, to schedule an appointment or if you or someone you know is homebound and may need assistance getting vaccinated, call MHP Public Health at 641.673.3257 or look us up on the web: mahaskahealth.org.