The Washington County Health Department is having its second flu vaccination clinic of the season Oct. 26.
With flu vaccinations widely available through local pharmacies, including ones at grocery and discount stores, the health department is not having the mass flu vaccination clinics it used to, health department spokesman Rod MacRae said.
Instead, several smaller walk-in clinics will be held at the 1302 Pennsylvania Ave. health department, MacRae said.
The remaining clinics will be held from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on five of the next six Fridays: Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, 9, 16, and 30, according to the health department’s website at www.washhealth.org.
“We still consider (vaccination) to be the best protection an individual can get against getting the flu,” MacRae said.
The health department received 1,500 flu vaccination doses, according to an email from MacRae.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website states some people who get the flu are more prone to get flu complications that could result in hospitalization and, occasionally, death.
The CDC website lists populations at high risk for developing flu-related complications as pregnant women; adults 65 and older; and children younger than 5, especially those younger than 2. American Indians and Alaskan natives also appear to have a higher risk of flu complications, according to www.cdc.gov.
The flu can make chronic health problems worse, according to the CDC. Those include asthma; chronic lung disease; heart disease; neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions; blood, endocrine, kidney, liver, and metabolic disorders; people who are morbidly obese; people with weakened immune systems due to disease or medication; and people younger than 19 who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy.
For the regular flu vaccine, the local health department will accept Medicare, but will not bill other insurance, according to the department’s website. The site states a $20 donation “is appreciated.”
Appointments are not necessary for the walk-in clinics that offer the regular flu vaccinations, MacRae said.
However, appointments need to be scheduled for eligible children to receive the child influenza vaccine, which has an administration fee. Health officials received 160 doses of injectable flu vaccine for children, MacRae said.
The children’s vaccine is available for ages 6 months through 18 years, according to the health department’s website. Children might need a second dose four weeks later. For an appointment, call 240-313-3210.
The health department also has about half of the 4,100 flu mist doses for local schools left, according to MacRae’s email.