MEIGS COUNTY — As flu season approaches, the Meigs County Health Department is offering influenza vaccinations both during regular office hours and during its third annual Drive-Thru Shot Clinic.
Vaccines are available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. at the Meigs County Health Department.
Additionally, the Drive-Thru Clinic will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Meigs County Fairgrounds.
Meigs County Health Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Brody Davis said that the clinic on Saturday will serve as an exercise in emergency preparedness, with Friday and Saturday each as a training opportunity. This will allow the health department staff to train in setting up for pandemic type situations in which they may need to vaccinate a large number of individuals in a short amount of time, as well as actually dispensing the vaccinations.
The Drive-Thru Clinic has grown in each of its first two years, with organizers hoping to see additional numbers this year.
One new addition to the clinic this year will be Hep A vaccines. Hep A is a two vaccine series, with the two vaccinations separated by six months.
Both Hep A and Influenza vaccinations will be offered to those in attendance without having to leave their vehicles. Attendees should wear clothing which allows for easy access to the arm area where the vaccines are given. Influenza vaccines are available for ages six months and up, with Hep A vaccines for those one year old and up. Children ages 6 months to 8 years of age, who are receiving their first influenza vaccine, should receive a second dose approximately four weeks after the first dose.
For those coming to the clinic, the entrance will be between the Thompson Roush Building and the Cattle Barn. Drivers will then be directed to the proper area for whichever vaccination(s) they will be receiving.
Director of Nursing Leanne Cunningham reminded residents that the flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the flu each year. Additionally, it is not possible to get the flu from the flu shot, said Cunningham.
In addition to the flu shot, hand washing is recommended as a way to help prevent both the flu and Hepatitis A. Additionally, if you have symptoms of influenza, it is recommended that you stay home from work and/or school, as well as stay away from other individuals, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
Cunningham added that those who are too young to be vaccinated depend on those around them to be vaccinated in order to help prevent exposure to the flu.
Previously the flu shot had not been available to those with an egg allergy, but Cunningham said that the vaccinations are no longer made in a way that would impact those with egg allergies. Those who have previously had a severe reaction to the flu shot, who are pregnant or have other medical conditions are still advised to consult with their physician before getting the flu shot.
Please bring your insurance or medical card with you to the clinic. The patient is responsible for any portion that is not covered by insurance. The cost for a private pay flu shot is $30 for those under age 65 and $50 for those aged 65+. There are a very limited number of flu shots available for those with no insurance coverage, and they will be given first come, first served.
Contact the Meigs County Health Department at 740-992-6626 if you have any questions.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.