Protect your workforce and families from the flu…get a flu shot!
Des Moines, IA) – Flu seasons can be unpredictable and severe. In Iowa, flu season can start as early as October and continue throughout the month of May. This can be detrimental to our workforce and their families. The Polk County Health Department urges residents to get their flu shot this year.
“Getting the flu is more than being sick for a couple of days,” said Helen Eddy, director of Polk County Health Department. “Expect to feel miserable for at least a few days and have flu symptoms such as coughing, headaches and fatigue that can last up to two weeks.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although almost half of the U.S. population gets a flu vaccination annually, the impact of influenza remains high. The flu costs the United States more than $87 billion annually and is responsible for the loss of close to 17 million workdays each flu season. Tens of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands die from flu-related illnesses each year in the United States.
“Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent getting the flu,” Eddy said. “Encourage your workforce and their families to get a flu shot. This will protect everyone’s health and help to increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, lower health care costs and limit other negative impacts of the flu.”
The Polk County Health Department will be hosting community flu based clinics to give the community many opportunities to get their vaccine. Visit http://www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health to find the schedule. To speed up the process at the flu clinics, individuals can download the consent form from the Health Department web site and bring the completed consent form to the clinic. Consent forms are in both English and Spanish.
If you cannot attend one of the community-based flu clinics, please visit our walk-in flu clinic located at the Polk County Health Department (1907 Carpenter Ave., Des Moines). The flu walk-in clinic will be open Monday – Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM and Tuesdays until 6:00 PM. Individuals can visit their doctor to get their flu shot as well.
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. Fluzone, a flu shot specifically designed for individuals 65 years and older will be $50. As individuals age, their immune system weakens over time. Fluzone provides a higher dose of antigen in the vaccine and is supposed to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu. The cost for regular flu shot for individuals without insurance is $25.
About the Polk County Health Department
The Polk County Health Department strives to create the conditions for all people to live healthy lives by engaging residents, reducing health disparities and attending to the needs of our most vulnerable families.
Follow us on Twitter at @polkcohealth and on Facebook. For more information about the Polk County Health Department, please visit /health/.