Yet another flu season is here

20_8158LINE UP HERE  — Meadowlark School teachers have their student s line up to go into school on the first day of school this past week.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler

 

 

 

It’s time to think about flu shots.

Though flu season most often occurs in January or February, flu can occur anytime and outbreaks often occur in the fall of the year. Your flu shot can last for about a year so now is the right time to be vaccinated.

Locally, the Pondera County Health Department (PCHD) and Pondera Medical Center (PMC) have both received supplies of adult vaccine.  Both agencies anticipate pediatric supplies to arrive in September.

“Our vaccination efforts will begin right away in September with vaccine available by office appointment and outreach clinics for high risk populations”, stated Cynthia Grubb, Pondera County Health Nurse. Both agencies will charge $25 for vaccine and both are able to bill Medicare and private insurance.

The PCHD currently plans several outreach clinics in late September and early October to increase public and elderly availability of the vaccine.

Clinics are planned for Horizon Lodge, Conrad Senior Citizen’s Center, Valier Community Center and Conrad Public Schools (staff and families).

Additionally, a coordinated effort between facilities will offer public flu shots at the Oct. 2 Harvest Festival; time and location to be announced.

Shots are now available at the PCHD. Call to schedule your vaccination at 271-3247 Monday through Thursday.

Shots may also be scheduled though PMC at 271-3231. PMC employees and long-term care residents will also be encouraged to receive vaccine.

PMC’s COO Mary Erickson reminds the public, “We do not anticipate a vaccine shortage this year and keeping yourself well helps to keep our residents and patients well, so please get your flu shot.”

The 2010-2011 flu shot contains three strains of influenza including the H1N1 strain that was causal in the 2009 Pandemic Flu.

CDC guidelines recommend vaccination for all people six months of age and older but state that vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of severe influenza and their close contacts, including healthcare personnel and close contacts of children less than six months.

For more information or to ask questions, contact the PCHD art 271-3247.