County to again offer flu shot clinics
Yavapai County Community Health Services will offer adult flu shot clinics beginning Oct. 14.
This year there are 39 clinics planned throughout the county, including 12 walk-in clinics. In order to serve as many Yavapai County residents as possible, clinics will be held in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Cottonwood, Sedona, Camp Verde, Humboldt, Mayer, Skull Valley, Congress, and Yarnell.
For convenience, the clinic schedule can be viewed and flu shot appointments can be made online at www.co.yavapai.az.us, or call the flu information line at (928) 442-5613 in Prescott, or (928) 639-8139 in Cottonwood for a list of available walk-in flu shot clinics.
People who should get vaccinated each year are:
Children 6 months through 18 years of age (this age group should go to their pediatrician or primary provider for vaccination),
People 50 years of age and older,
People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, and
People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu (see above
Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
Please note that Yavapai County Community Health Services can only vaccinate people 19 years of age.
and older in our clinics.
For more information please go to www.co.yavapai.az.us.
Planning ahead for flu season
Influenza outbreaks do not usually start to appear until November or later in the United States. Vaccines take about two weeks to take effect and build immunity, so the best time to get vaccinated against influenza (flu) is from October through November.
How well people resist the flu virus can depend on the health of one's immune system. It is especially important for the elderly, the very young, and those with weakened immune systems to try and boost their immunity to the flu by receiving a flu shot.
Each year, an estimated 226,000 people are hospitalized from serious flu-related symptoms, and an average of 36,000 people die as a result of the flu virus. The flu generally causes people to get a fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, muscle aches, and fatigue, or worse.
A young adult in excellent health will often easily survive a case of seasonal flu.
However, for someone who already has diabetes, heart disease, or chronic illness, which has weakened their immune system, catching the flu can lead to lung infections and pneumonia that can be life-threatening.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that people at increased risk for complications from the flu, and those in close contact with them, get the vaccine.
Anyone who wants to lower their chances of getting sick from the flu this year should get a flu shot, rather than risk illness and possibly missing work or other activities.
The flu vaccine protects people against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season.
Each year one or more virus strains in the vaccine might be changed on the basis of global surveillance for influenza viruses and the emergence and spread of new strains.
All three vaccine virus strains were changed for this year's 2008-09 flu season. The 2008-09 flu vaccine can protect you from getting sick from the three new virus strains, or it can make your illness milder if you get a similar, but different strain of the flu virus. Plan ahead, and get your flu shot before the flu gets you this year.