The Health Department encourages everyone to get a flu shot
(Des Moines, IA) – I don’t need the flu shot, I never get sick. I got the flu shot last year so I am fine. Every year, we hear the reasons why people don’t think they need a flu shot. Yet, every year individuals are hospitalized and die from the flu.
“The flu does not discriminate,” said Helen Eddy, director of Polk County Health Department. “It affects the young, the old, the healthy and the sick. Getting your flu shot is vital to your health.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they estimate from October 1, 2018 through May 4, 2019, there have been: 37.4 million – 42.9 million flu illnesses, 17.3 million – 20.1 million flu medical visits, 531,000 – 647, 000 hospitalizations and 36,400 – 61,200 flu deaths. It is difficult to know what this year will bring. Each flu season is unpredictable and can be severe. The best way to stay healthy each flu season is by getting the flu shot.
“Individuals get the flu vaccine not only to keep themselves healthy but to keep others healthy who can’t get the flu shot,” said Eddy.
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.