It's that time again when we need to get flu shots. This year, there are many opportunities and locations where individuals can receive their flu shot, and each person needs to make that decision on their own. This article will reflect on one of those locations and what makes this clinic a special opportunity for those still needing an immunization to prevent this year's identified strains of influenza.
From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, the Washington County Health Department will be holding its annual drive-through flu shot clinic. The clinic is held in its parking lot at 342 Muskingum Drive, the site of the original Washington County Children's Home.
During this time, the staff will greet you as you drive into the parking lot, take information and fill out the forms, direct to the next station, and trained nurses will give you the shot, and you will be on your way without ever leaving the comfort of your vehicle.
The Washington County Health Department has also teamed up with the Washington County Sheriff's Department in a "drug take-back" opportunity as well. You may bring expired or unused medications with you to the clinic for proper disposal. In this way, you can make one trip and accomplish two different purposes.
The question always arises as to who should get immunized against influenza. The Centers for Disease Control states that all persons aged 6 months and older should be vaccinated annually. However, of special concern and are those individuals that are aged 6 months through 4 years; are 50 years and older; have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, neurological, hematological, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes); are immunosuppressed; are aged 6 months through 18 years and receiving long-term aspirin therapy; are residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities; are health-care personnel; are household contacts and caregivers of children under the age of 6 months or adults over the age of 50; and household contacts or caregivers of persons with medical conditions that put them at a higher risk for severe complications from influenza.
The cost of the vaccine is $25 for adults and $10 for children. The Washington County Health Department will accept Medicare, Part B and Medicaid. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. In addition to the regular flu vaccine, WCHD will also have pediatric vaccine, high-dose vaccine, and flu mist available upon request.
If you cannot make the drive-thru clinic, you can still receive a flu shot at one of our regularly scheduled clinics from 1 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays or 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Fridays. We have also scheduled walk-in clinics from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Mondays through the month of October.
Other clinic locations throughout the county:
9 to 11 a.m. Oct. 11 at White Oak Pharmacy, Barlow.
8:30 to 10 a.m. Oct. 18 at Churchtown Senior Center.
11 a.m. to noon Oct. 18 at Layman Senior Center.
11 a.m. to noon Oct. 25 at Beverly Senior Center.
9:30 to 11 a.m. Oct. 26 at Little Hocking Senior Center.
Remember, flu season is here - vaccinate to protect you and your loved ones from flu. For more information, please call the Washington County Health Department at (740) 374-2782.
Kathleen Meckstroth, DrPH, is executive director of the Washington County Health Department, 342 Muskingum Drive, Marietta.