Floyd County Health Department Issues Statement on Early Flu Season

For children, the CDC says the vaccine can be life-saving and reduces the risk for hospitalization.

The CDC said it's key to get a flu vaccine before influenza starts spreading in your community, recommending getting the shot if it's available now between the end of October.

Despite this conflicting advice, Public Health Solutions in Crete says some immunization is better than none, and predicting the timing of the flu is hard.

The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department is offering flu shots for people ages six months and older between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at its offices at 1005 W. Worley Street. "One year it might be a great match to what is in the flu vaccine, and other years we may see it drift a little bit", Aigner said. The Director of Communicable Disease Prevention Tiffany McFee said its important for everyone who is able to get their flu shot.

The intradermal flu vaccine, a shot injected into the skin instead of the muscle using a smaller needle than the regular flu shot and requiring less antigen to be as effective as the regular flu shot, will not be available this season. "People think that when you get the flu shot, then you get the flu". These groups include pregnant women, children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes.

With cases of the flu already reported in North Dakota and Washington state.

Schippert also noted that the flu vaccine that will be administered at public clinics this year is a quadrivalent vaccine, which offers protection against four strains of flu.

The flu vaccine is covered by most insurance plans but Margaret Mary Health recommends patients call their insurance company in advance to verify coverage. "This shot has triple the antigens in it, so it gives a better immune response to the flu", Aigner said. "Even if it is not a flawless match for all this year's flu strains, the flu vaccine will provide some protection and reduce your chances of needing to be hospitalized if you do get sick".

For more information about the flu vaccine and keeping the flu bug at bay, go to the Allina website. If you are 60 or older, a Finney County resident and haven't gotten your voucher this summer, come by the senior center and get one.

Reed has her family vaccinated in September, ahead of the start of "flu season" which usually begins in October in Hampton Roads and Virginia, and peaks between December and February.

  • Santos West