Flu Vaccinations Now Available
The Lake County Health Department is offering the flu shot and the nasal spray, as well as pneumonia vaccines.
The Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center is now offering flu and pneumonia vaccinations to the general public. The vaccine is available by appointment only at the Health Department's Immunizations Annex at 2303 Dodge Avenue in Waukegan. Please call (847) 377-8470 to make an appointment or for more information.
"People tend to forget that flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death," said Irene Pierce, the Health Department's Executive Director. "An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the flu and decreases the chances that you will spread it to others."
The Health Department is offering two types of flu vaccine: the flu shot, which is given with a needle, and the nasal spray, which is sprayed into the nose. While anyone six months of age or older can receive the shot, the nasal spray vaccine (LAIV) is for healthy persons 2-49 years old who are not pregnant.
It is important that persons 65 and over bring their Medicare part B cards with them as it will cover the cost of the flu and pneumonia vaccines. Medicaid and All Kids will also be accepted. Fees are $35 for the flu vaccine and $65 for the pneumonia vaccine. Children 18 years of age and younger who have no insurance, or whose insurance does not fully cover the cost of vaccines, may receive a flu shot for $15.
Public health officials recommend that everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated against influenza, especially pregnant women, young children, people 65 years of age and older, and anyone with underlying health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.
A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing. This year's flu vaccine includes the H1N1 virus used to make last year's vaccine. It also includes the H3N2 and B vaccine viruses, which are different from those used last year.
The Health Department is encouraging residents to remember these important health recommendations: The most important step in protecting against the flu is getting an annual flu vaccine. Take everyday preventive steps, such as staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.
The Health Department is just one of several locations offering the flu vaccine this year as it is available at pharmacies and at other providers throughout Lake County. For more information, visit: www.lakecountyflu.com or contact the Health Department at: (847) 377-8470.