The Pushmataha County Health Department announced its seasonal influenza vaccination clinic schedule for the upcoming flu season. Clinics will begin on October 7th & 15th, according to Pushmataha County Health Department Administrative Director Jerry Pat Fowler.
“Flu can be a dangerous disease for people of all ages, even healthy children and adults,” said Tara Tedder, Immunization Field Consultant. “We encourage everyone to protect themselves and their families by getting their annual flu shot and we want to remind the public that the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu.”
Flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older and will be available for anyone who wants to be protected from influenza. Several new flu vaccines are available this year including quadrivalent flu vaccines and a vaccine made without using eggs, along with the familiar three-strain (trivalent) injectable flu shot. Children 6 months through 8 years of age who are being vaccinated for the first time will need two doses of vaccine separated by four weeks.
Persons at high risk of serious complications from flu are strongly encouraged to get the flu vaccine. This includes pregnant women, people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease, or other chronic conditions, and all children younger than 5 years of age.
Influenza can make chronic conditions worse. Influenza can be associated with heart attacks, make it harder for diabetics to control their sugar levels, make asthma worse, and lead to pneumonia. Since infants younger than 6 months cannot get influenza vaccine, they are at high risk of serious complications and hospitalization if they get influenza. Thus the best way to protect them is to be sure everyone around them is vaccinated and for pregnant women to be vaccinated. Infants born to vaccinated women are protected against flu for the first six months of their lives.
Flu vaccine is also strongly recommended for anyone who lives with or cares for people at high risk from flu complications such as parents and family members of children less than 5 years old, and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for complications from the flu. In addition, health care workers should get the vaccine to protect themselves, their patients and families.
Clinic days and times are as follows: All day Walk-in Flu Clinics: Antlers- Monday, October 7th from 8 am until 7 pm. The remainder of the flu season clinic hours will be Monday - Friday, 8am to 11 am and 1 pm to 4 pm. Clayton- Tuesday, October 15th from 9 am until 6 pm. The remainder of the flu season clinic hours will be on Tuesdays from 9 am to 3 pm.
The Pushmataha County Health Department will have the following types of flu vaccine available: Traditional three-strain injectable flu vaccine; Quadrivalent (four-strain) injectable flu vaccine; Nasal spray flu vaccine for people ages 2 through 49 years who are not at high risk of complications from flu and who are not pregnant; High-dose flu vaccine, an injectable vaccine for persons age 65 years and older. This vaccine will contain three strains of flu.
People who are allergic to eggs should see their family health care provider for a flu vaccine made without using eggs.
The Pushmataha County Health Department will accept cash, checks or credit cards for payment and will provide flu vaccine according to the following fee schedule: No charge for families whose income is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level, No charge for adults 65 years of age and older. Medicare will be billed for the vaccine and the administration fee. Adults 65 and older should bring their Medicare Card, No charge for children who have no health insurance, or are on SoonerCare or are Native American or Alaska natives, or children whose insurance does not cover vaccines, No cost for anyone 6 months through 64 years of age with Health Choice Insurance. Please bring your insurance information, Children and adults with health insurance that covers vaccines and those with incomes above 185 percent of the poverty level will be charged a fee of $25.00 to cover the cost of the flu vaccine and the cost of administering the vaccine.