WATSEKA — The Iroquois County Public Health Department has scheduled 12 flu vaccination clinics in October to be held at various sites around the county, in addition to the walk-in flu clinics offered daily at the agency’s office in Watseka.
Public Health Administrator Dee Ann Schippert said walk-in clinics are offered throughout the flu season from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. at the health department’s office at 1001 E. Grant St. in Watseka.
Additional clinics will be offered:
— From 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Oct. 9, at The Arc in Watseka.
— From 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at Iroquois Farmers State Bank in Iroquois.
— From noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at Beaverville Hardware in Beaverville.
— From 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the health department’s office in Watseka.
— From 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at Creekside Terrace in Cissna Park.
— From 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Iroquois Farmers State Bank in Gilman.
— From 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Crescent City Community Center.
— From 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, at ABRA in Sheldon.
— From 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Presence Merkle-Knipprath in Clifton.
— From 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the health department’s office in Watseka.
— From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at Heritage Woods in Watseka.
— And from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the Citizen State Bank in Milford.
For more information, people can call the health department at 815-432-2483.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health are strongly advising vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age or older, said Vonda Pruitt, director of nursing for the Iroquois County Public Health Department.
Pruitt said children age 8 and under may require two vaccinations at least one month apart to achieve immunity. Health department staff will need to review prior vaccination information on the child in order to make such a determination.
Pruitt added that a physician’s order is required prior to giving a vaccination to a pregnant or breastfeeding woman.
Schippert noted that the flu vaccine that is administered at the public clinics is a quadrivalent vaccine, which offers protection against four different strains of flu; is preservative free, containing no Thimerosal or Mercury; and is administered using syringes that are latex free.
The cost for the quadrivalent vaccine is $35 per dose. In addition to the quadrivalent flu vaccine, the health department is offering the high-dose flu vaccine. However, due to a manufacturing delay, the high-dose vaccine may not be available until mid- to late-October. It will cost $70 per dose.
Persons with coverage for the flu vaccine through Medicare or insurance companies can be billed directly. The health department can currently bill Aetna, BlueCross/Blue Shield of IL PPO, Health Alliance, HealthLink PPO, HealthLink HMO, Cigna and United Healthcare. A receipt will be provided to enable those with other insurance coverage to obtain reimbursement.
Schippert said there is still a small percentage of the population that believes a person can get the flu from the flu shot, but she stressed that “there is no live virus in the flu vaccines we provide” and “it is impossible to ‘get the flu’ from the vaccine.”
“The vaccines we utilize today are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are very safe,” Schippert said. “It takes up to two weeks for protection to develop after the shot, and there is the rare occasion when a person will become ill during that period of time. The illness is not from the flu vaccine. The person either had contracted the flu virus prior to achieving immunity or is suffering from another illness having same or similar symptoms as the flu.”