Polk County Health Department Announces 2015 Flu Clinic Schedule
(Des Moines, IA) –The Polk County Health Department will start hosting community flu vaccination clinics now through November 2015. The annual “drive-thru flu clinic” will be held on Saturday, October 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Polk County Health Department. The flu clinic schedule is available at www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health. Individuals wanting the flu vaccine will be able to visit our clinic on a walk-in basis. Clinic hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 – 4:30 p.m. and Tuesdays until 6:30 p.m.
“Last flu season was a good indicator of how the flu viruses are constantly changing,” said Rick Kozin, Director of Polk County Health Department. “Individuals need to get a flu vaccine each year to protect them against the most recent and common types of flu because last year’s vaccine may not protect you from this year’s flu strains.”
Flu seasons can be unpredictable and can be severe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from the flu, including an average of 20,000 children younger than five years of age. Complications from the flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or congestive heart failure.
“Getting the flu is more than just a stuffy nose or sore throat. It can cause symptoms such as coughing, headaches and fatigue that can last for up two weeks. Most people will feel miserable for at least a few days and will then recover but for some, like the elderly and kids or people with chronic diseases, the flu can cause pneumonia and may require hospitalization. At a minimum, the flu will cause you to miss several days of work or school.” said Kozin.
Since a higher percentage of children get the flu, and because of how easily they can spread it to others, it is recommended that all children over the age of 6 months be vaccinated against flu. Older adults, pregnant women and individuals with chronic health conditions (who are more likely to get sick and be sicker than other people) are encouraged to receive their shots sooner rather than later.
To speed up the process at the flu clinics, individuals can download the consent form from the Health Department’s web site at (www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health) and bring the completed consent form to the clinic. Consent forms are in both English and Spanish.
For updates or changes in the clinic schedule, please call the Polk County FluLine, (515) 286-3609. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Don’t forget to bring your insurance card to the clinic. The cost for those without insurance is $20.
For more information regarding the flu or flu clinics, please visit our web site at www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health.