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Flu Shot Still Your Best Protection Against The Flu

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Flu Shot Still Your Best Protection Against the Flu

FRANKLIN & WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL- Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department has received seasonal flu vaccine and has begun vaccinating at both health department locations. Flu shots will be available during regular walk-in clinic hours at both health department locations; Monday, Wednesday and Friday at our Marion office location (8160 Express Drive) and Tuesday and Thursday at our Benton office location (403 East Park) from 8:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00- 3:00 p.m. Bi-County Health will be hosting a late night flu clinic from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at the Benton office and Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at the Marion office. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend annual seasonal flu shots for everyone age 6 months and older.  The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated by the end of October, if possible. Although recommended for everyone, seasonal flu shots are especially important for the very young and senior citizens, as well as anyone with chronic underlying health conditions. Bi-County Health distributes the quadrivalent influenza vaccine which offers protection against four strains, (2) Influenza A and (2) Influenza B viruses. New this year Bi-County will also distribute the high –dose influenza vaccine for those 65 years of age and older.

The fee for the influenza vaccine is $35.00 and the fee for the high-dose influenza vaccine is $65.00. Bi-County also has flu vaccine available through the Vaccine For Children Program (VFC).  To be eligible for this program, the child has to be between the ages of 6 months old – 18 years of age and fall into any of the following categories: be a Medicaid recipient, has no insurance, has insurance that does not cover vaccines, or is Alaskan Native/American Indian.  The cost for the VFC is $20.00 or the Illinois Medicaid (Title XIX) card will cover the cost. Bi-County Health accepts Medicare Part B,  Illinois Medicaid (for both children (Title XIX) and adults), private insurance, cash, check, or credit/debit cards (MasterCard, VISA, Discover) for flu and pneumonia shots.

Influenza, also called the flu, is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract and spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  Flu symptoms include fever (usually 100 degrees F in adults and often higher in children), dry cough, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. On average, it’s about two days after being exposed to the flu before symptoms begin.  However, you can pass the flu to someone roughly a day before you start experiencing those symptoms, and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.

 

For those individuals who will not be able to receive the vaccine this year and for the population as a whole, there are steps that can be taken to reduce transmission of flu:

· Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for approximately 20 seconds.  Teach children the same healthy habit.

· Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze, preferably with a tissue or your arm, not your hands.  Promptly discard the tissue.

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.

· If you are sick with cough or fever, stay home from work or school until you recover.

· Contact your doctor if you are experiencing severe symptoms that you believe require medical attention.

· Do not share things that go into the mouth, such as drinking cups, straws, etc.

· Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces (door knobs, refrigerator handle, phone, water faucets) if someone in your house has a cold or the flu.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

 

The pneumonia shot will be available at both health department locations and is available year round during regular clinic hours.  The fee for the pneumonia vaccine is $100.00. Recommendations state that the pneumonia vaccine offers lifetime protection and is for anyone over age 65 or those individuals who have chronic respiratory diseases. For individuals whose physician recommends another shot, Bi-County Health requires a doctor’s order. Dates and times of Bi-County Health Department flu clinics will be available on our automated phone system at (618) 993-8111 or (618) 439-0951, on our website at www.bicountyhealth.org, twitter at fwbicohealth and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bicountyhealthBi-County Home Health will be offering flu shots to their patients during regular visits. For those who need an influenza shot and are considered homebound, call either Bi-County Health Department location to schedule an appointment for a nurse to come to your home. For those with limited mobility, curb service will be available.

 

 

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