“All people have to do is drive under the teal awning off C Avenue East, and we will be waiting to provide their flu vaccine,” MHP Public Health Coordinator Patty Malloy said. “They don’t even have to get out of their car, it’s very convenient and quick!”
During the Drive-Thru Flu Clinic, people age 6 months and older can get a flu vaccine. The regular shot or mist cost $25 and the high dose vaccine, for people age 65 and older, is $30. Medicare Part B can be billed with proof of card. MHP Public Health also participates in the VFC program that provides vaccines to Medicaid, underinsured and uninsured children ages 6 months to 18 years old.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the influenza virus changes every year as it makes its way around the world. Since the exact flu viruses are almost never the same, the strains of influenza in the vaccine change each year. Protection from the vaccine lasts about one year and the strains it combats are altered based on the history of the virus. It’s important people get a new flu vaccine annually.
Malloy said that the IDPH recommends yearly flu vaccination for almost everyone over 6 months of age. “It is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications to get the vaccine,” Malloy encouraged. “Children under five, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions like heart and lung problems or diabetes should get a vaccine. It can take up to two weeks for full protection to develop so being vaccinated before flu season is beneficial.”
In addition to the Drive-Thru Flu Clinc, MHP Public Health is offering weekly Walk-In Flu Clinics on Mondays from 8 am to Noon and Thursdays from 1 pm to 4 pm; or other times by appointment. Public Health is accessed through entrance #1 on the MHP campus. They can be contacted by calling 641.673.3257.