The season for spreading the influenza virus from one person to another is quickly approaching.
Fulton County Health Department Commissioner Kim Cupp is reminding residents that one of the best ways to protect against respiratory illness is to get vaccinated. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2019) “recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.”
Local pharmacies have been providing flu vaccines for several weeks now. Physicians’ offices and community urgent care facilities are also providing flu vaccines to their patients.
An adult walk-in clinic will be held at at the Health Department, 606 S. Shoop Ave., Wauseon, on Thursday, Sept. 26. Flu shots will also be available Wednesdays by appointment beginning Wednesday, Oct. 2, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; walk-ins, Mondays beginning Monday, Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Family flu clinics, adults and children, by appointment – Thursday, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, 2-6 p.m.
Walk-in clinics for adults, Monday, Sept. 30, 1-3 p.m., Fairlawn Haven Wyse Commons, Archbold; Tuesday, Oct. 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Road to Wellness, Pettisville Missionary Church; Thursday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-noon, Fulton County Senior Center, Wauseon.
Other community walk-in clinics for adults and children include: Thursday, Oct. 3, 3-5:30 p.m., Delta Open Door, 104 Monroe St.; Monday, Oct. 7, 3-5:30 p.m., Lyons Fire Station, W. Morenci Street; Monday, Oct. 21, 3-5:30 p.m., Evergreen Community Library, 253 Maple St. Metamora; Tuesday, Oct. 22, 3-5:30 p.m., Swanton Public Library, 305 Chestnut St.; Monday, Oct. 28, 2-4:30 p.m., Fayette Family Life Center, 305 E. Main St.,
Appointments can be made for children to get vaccinated in the Health Department’s regular immunization clinics.
Because there are so many opportunities for both adults and children to be vaccinated throughout the county, the number of people vaccinated in some of the community-based clinics has declined. As a result, the Health Department is focusing its flu shot efforts in communities where adults and children do not have access to a physician, pharmacy, clinic or urgent care that can provide the vaccine to individuals in their community.
It is important to know about the types of vaccines available. A quadrivalent vaccine provides protection against two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B viruses. For adults age 65 and above, Fluad (influenza vaccine, adjuvanted) is given. According to the CDC (2018), “an adjuvant is an ingredient of a vaccine that helps promote a better immune response.”
This year, all flu vaccines contain the A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated), A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus (updated), B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus, and B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus.
The county health department is contracted with 12 health insurance companies and a majority of the Medicare and Medicaid plans. The cost of the vaccination will be billed to these plans. Those with plans with whom the Health Department is not contracted, the cost is $46 for quadrivalent vaccine for children six-35 months; $49 for quadrivalent vaccine for children 36 months to adults through age 64. The adjuvanted vaccine for persons age 65 and above is $83.
A sliding fee scale is available for the administration fee if the person is uninsured.