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Health department giving flu shots

Bedford Now - 10/24/2017

In preparation for the peak of influenza season, which is typically late November through March, the Monroe County Health Department has started to provide flu vaccines for 2017-18.

The vaccines are available by appointment between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the health department office, 2353 S. Custer Road.

The office is closed between noon and 1 p.m.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that each year, on average, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population is infected with the influenza virus. Of that number, more than 300,000 become hospitalized for influenza complications and as many as 56,000 will die from those complications, according to the CDC.

“Getting vaccinated against the flu is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself, and your loved ones, from influenza,” health officials said.

Specifically the CDC recommends those 6 months or older get the yearly influenza vaccine.

The cost for adults is $35 for a flu shot or $55 for a high dose flu shot, and $105 for the pneumonia vaccine.

Both vaccines may be given at one visit.

Those scheduling vaccine appointments should contact their insurance company ahead of time to determine benefit coverage.

Flu vaccination is also available for children 6 months through 18 years who qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program during regular immunization clinic hours.

Qualifying children must meet one of the following criteria: Medicaid, no health insurance, health insurance that does not include immunizations or Alaskan or Native Indian. The cost for a flu shot through Vaccines for Children’s Program is $20.

All children who are 8 or younger and who have never had a flu shot will need to receive a second dose of flu vaccine one month after the first dose.

To make an appointment for a vaccination or for more information, call the MCHD at 240-7800.

General information and updates about flu is available by calling the flu hotline number at 240-7878.

— AP file photo

The peak of the flu season usually starts in late November, so health officials are advising people to get vaccinated before then.


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