The Marion County Health Department is fighting the flu by encouraging people to get a flu vaccine. And they are offering a flu clinic in order to make it happen.
“The Marion County Health Department has made getting a flu shot more accessible by holding vaccination clinics throughout Marion County,” says Marion County Health Department Director, Krista Schneider. “I would encourage everyone over six months of age to get their annual flu shot. Getting a flu shot can help you to protect yourself and others that you are close to. Older adults, people with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women are among those that are highest at risk for developing serious complications from influenza.”
Here are a few facts from the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
*Recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to those used to make flu vaccines.
*Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
*Flu vaccination during pregnancy helps protect pregnant people from flu during and after pregnancy and helps protect their infants from flu in their first few months of life.
*Flu vaccine can be lifesaving in children. A 2022 study showed that flu vaccination reduced children’s risk of severe life-threatening influenza by 75%.
*Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
*Despite the many benefits offered by flu vaccination, only about half of Americans get an annual flu vaccine. During an average flu season, flu can cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths. Many more people could be protected from the flu if more people got vaccinated.
For the above facts and more, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/vaccineeffect.htm.
If any Marion County businesses have 10 or more employees who want the flu vaccination, the Health Department staff will come to them. To arrange this, call the health department at 620-382-2550 and speak to Director Krista Schneider or Jessica Gilbert, the flu clinic coordinator.
The vaccine formulated for ages 50-65, “Flublok” will not be available this year, due to a manufacturing variance. The two vaccines that will be featured at the clinics will be Fluzone and High Dose for those ages 65 and older.
The health department accepts BCBS, Medicare and Medicaid. They will bill other insurances, but if they do not pay, the client is responsible. Call your insurance to confirm they’ll pay out-of-network claims. Anyone who has VA insurance coverage as their primary insurance, must bring a pre-authorization from their VA primary care physician; otherwise, the VA will not reimburse the health department for services rendered.
Cash or check also accepted.
Walk-in flu clinic locations are:
Burns Community Center (301 N. Washington): Thursday, October 5, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Centre K-12, (2374 310th, Lost Springs): Tuesday, October 3, 3-5 p.m.
Durham Community Center (515 Douglas): Tuesday, October 17, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Florence Ambulance Center (511 Main): Tuesday, October 10, 4:30-6 p.m. Goessel Elementary (500 E Main): Tuesday, October 17, 3-5 p.m.
Hillsboro City Hall (118 E. Grand): Monday, October 16, 4:30-6 p.m.
Marion County Courthouse (Commission Room): Tuesday, October 24, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Marion Senior Center (309 S. Third): Monday, October 2, 11-12:30 p.m.
Peabody Senior Center (106 N. Walnut): Tuesday, October 3, 11-12:30 p.m.
Peabody-Burns High School (810 N. Sycamore St.): Monday, October 2, 3-5 p.m.
Tampa Senior Center (Third & Main Streets): Tuesday, October 10, 10-11:30 a.m.
By Appointment: M-W-F at the Marion County Health Department located at 504 S. Roosevelt in Marion. Call 620-382-2550.