County holds flu shot clinic in south county Saturday

County+holds+flu+shot+clinic+in+south+county+Saturday

County Executive Steve Stenger and other county officials urge county residents to get their flu shots.

And if you haven’t gotten yours yet, you’ll have a chance this weekend in south county.

A flu shot clinic will be offered from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the South County Health Center, 4580 S. Lindbergh Blvd., in Sunset Hills.

The cost is $25 for uninsured adults, insured adults and children will be billed through their insurance provider, and uninsured children will receive the vaccine for free.

The vaccine will be available for anyone 6 months of age or older, and will be given free to uninsured children ages 2 to 18. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Those with insurance should bring their insurance card.

The Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, recommends that everyone older than 6 months receive their flu shot every year.

“This isn’t just about protecting yourself, although that is certainly important,” Stenger said in a news release. “If you don’t catch the flu, then you can’t spread the illness to others.”

Getting a flu shot is a person’s best chance of preventing the flu, but even if they still get the flu, the shot will help them recover, county Department of Public Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan said.

“Even if you encounter a flu strain not included in the vaccine, having been vaccinated will help decrease severity of your symptoms and the duration of your illness,” Khan said in the release.

Certain children will not be able to receive the influenza vaccination at these clinics, including:

• Children who have taken influenza-antiviral drugs 48 hours prior to the vaccination date.
• Children who are allergic to eggs.
• Children ages 2 to 4 who have asthma or a history of wheezing in the past 12 months.
• Children who have chronic health issues.

If your children have any of the conditions listed above, talk to your health care provider about other vaccination options and ways to protect your children during the flu season.

Additionally, adults with a severe egg allergy should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions.

While the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccination by the end of October if possible, other standard precautions being urged by the Department of Public Health are:

• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
• Cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Try to maintain a distance of three feet between you and others.
• Stay home when you are sick or think you may be getting sick.

If you think you may have the flu, the department recommends that you contact your health care provider. Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, tiredness or fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Those unable to attend one of these events are urged to visit the county
Department of Public Health’s flu website for information on alternative sites to receive the seasonal flu vaccination, www.SaintLouisCountyFlu.com

For more information about the flu vaccine, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.

Seasonal influenza changes every year, and so does the flu vaccine, based on recommendations from experts who figure out which types of flu are most likely to circulate each fall.

Vaccines available for the for the 2017-2018 influenza season include:

Trivalent influenza vaccines will contain the three vaccine virus strains below:
• A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
• A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
• B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

Quadrivalent (four-component) influenza vaccines will include the strains listed above and an additional vaccine virus strain:
• B/Phuket/3073/2013–like virus (Yamagata lineage)

FluMist Quadrivalent is still an FDA-licensed product. As such, there may be some supply of FluMist Quadrivalent on the U.S. market during the 2017-2018 season. It is important for clinicians and the public to be aware that because of concerns about this vaccine’s effectiveness, the CDC recommends that this vaccine not be used during the 2017-2018 influenza season.