Health officials are anticipating a really bad flu season for the Northern Hemisphere, after tracking the Australian flu season that spans from May to September in the Southern Hemisphere.
In Ohio, it is recommended that people get vaccinated by the end of October, as the body needs roughly two weeks to develop enough antibodies to protect against the flu, according to a news release from Crawford County Public Health.
The health department will be have its annual drive-thru clinic 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the health department, 1520 Isaac Beal Road. No appointment is needed. Only flu shots will be offered during the drive-thru clinic.
“The drive-thru clinic is perfect for those that have children in car seats, people with mobility issues, or even those that just want to get the flu shot over with as quickly as possible,” Health Commissioner Kate Siefert said in the news release.
Health department offers three flu shot options
The health department offers three flu vaccine options: Fluzone quadrivalent, Fluzone high-dose quadrivalent and Flublok. All are FDA approved and designed to protect against four different flu viruses anticipated by the World Health Organization: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Having four strains in the vaccine aims to give broader protection against circulating flu viruses. None of the flu vaccines being offered contain live flu viruses.
“Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of developing severe illness or complications from influenza," Siefert said in the news release. "Specific high-risk groups include adults age 65 and older, people with diabetes, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, young children, people who have cancer, and people with asthma and other chronic conditions. We also want to remind people it’s important to obtain the flu vaccine even if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Neither will protect you from the other — the flu vaccine will not protect you from COVID and the COVID vaccines will not protect you from the flu.”
Anyone ages 6 months and older can receive a standard Fluzone quadrivalent vaccine. People ages 18 years and older can choose between the standard Fluzone or the Flublok vaccines. For people ages 65 and older, it is recommended to receive the Fluzone high-dose quadrivalent vaccine or the Flublok vaccine.
Flublok, a recombinant quadrivalent vaccine, contains three times more antigens than the standard Fluzone vaccine. Flublok does not use the influenza virus or eggs in its production. Instead, it uses a more modern technology, used for many years to make other vaccines approved by the FDA, approved to create flu vaccine in 2013. Flublok is FDA approved for adults 18 years of age and older.
Fluzone high-dose quadrivalent vaccine is approved only for ages 65 and older. It contains four times more antigens, the part of the vaccine that helps you body build up protection against flu viruses, than standard Fluzone vaccines.
Other vaccines are available by appointment during any of the health department's other clinics.
Weekly vaccination clinics offered
The health department offers clinics at its office every Thursday. On the second and third Thursday of the month, evening hours are offered, till 6 p.m.
The health department will offer a vaccination clinic 9 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 19 at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
For one of the office clinics, people should call ahead to schedule an appointment to ensure they will not need to wait long, according to the news release. At any clinic, people should bring health insurance cards. Most insurances will cover the cost of the flu shot.
While the flu vaccine doesn’t totally protect against illness, getting a seasonal flu vaccine every year is the best protection again severe illness and hospitalization.
For details, call Crawford County Public Health at 419 562-5871. To keep up with current events and public health information, follow Crawford County Public Health on Facebook.
This article originally appeared on Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum: Health department plans drive-thru flu vaccination clinic on Oct. 11