Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Protect Against the Flu with a Vaccine

Grinnell Regional Public Health joins the Iowa Department of Public Health and the CDC in urging an annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older as the best way to protect against influenza.  By getting a yearly influenza vaccine, you can protect yourself from illness, and protect those around you. 
“The best way to protect you and your family is to receive an annual influenza vaccination,” said Patty Hinrichs, director of Grinnell Regional Public Health. Since the flu season begins in the fall, public health recommends residents receive the vaccine at an upcoming clinic.
This year, 170 million doses of influenza vaccine will be available in the United States. Manufacturers are currently shipping flu vaccines for the 2011-2012 season. The flu vaccine is plentiful this year, and is available in both the “shot in the arm” and “spray in the nose” formats.
Influenza is a respiratory illness that most often causes fever, headache, extreme tiredness, coughing, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose. Occasionally, nausea and diarrhea can accompany the respiratory symptoms.  The flu virus is spread when people who are ill cough or sneeze without covering their mouths and noses, sending tiny droplets of saliva into the air for others to breathe in and get sick.  A person can also get the flu by touching a surface or object (such as a door handle) that has been touched by someone with the flu (who coughed into their hand), and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.
Grinnell Regional Public Health will host public immunization clinics throughout the county. No appointment is necessary. Residents should bring their insurance card and information (including private, Medicare, and Medicaid).  The schedule includes:
Monday, Oct. 3, 2 to 6 p.m. – Grinnell Athletic and Recreation Center, 1500 Penrose St., Grinnell
Thursday, Oct. 13, 10:30 to noon – Brookside South, 214 4th Ave. West, Grinnell
Tuesday, Oct. 18, 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Grinnell Senior Center, 927 4th Ave., Grinnell
Thursday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to noon – St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 211 Jackson St., Brooklyn
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 3:45 to 6 p.m. – Grinnell High School media center, 1333 Sunset St., Grinnell
Thursday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to noon – Mayflower Community, 600 Park St., Grinnell
Monday, Oct. 31, 1 to 3 p.m. – Montezuma Presbyterian Church Family Center, 300 E. Washington, Montezuma
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 3 to 6 p.m. – BGM Elementary cafeteria, Brooklyn
Thursday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to noon – Seeland Park tenplex lobby, Orchard Dr., Grinnell
Thursday, Nov. 10, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Grinnell United Methodist Church, 916 5th Ave., Grinnell
Vaccine is also available at area physicians’ clinics as well as the GRMC affiliated clinics in Victor, Toledo, New Sharon, and Lynnville.
For more information, call Grinnell Regional Public Health at 641-236-2385.