The best way to reduce your risk from seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is to get vaccinated every year. Safe and effective vaccines are available through the Meigs County Health Department and have been used for more than 60 years. However, immunity from vaccination wanes over time, so annual vaccination is recommended to protect against influenza. In addition, injected inactivated influenza vaccines, like those at the Meigs County Health Department, are the most common vaccines given throughout the world. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months and up as the first and most crucial step in protecting against flu viruses.
The influenza vaccine protects healthy adults, even when circulating viruses do not precisely match the vaccine viruses. However, among the elderly, influenza vaccination may be less effective in preventing illness but reduces the severity of disease and incidence of complications and deaths. Therefore, vaccination is crucial for people at high risk of influenza complications and for people who live with or care for those at high risk.
Because flu viruses are continually changing, The World Health Organization (WHO) continuously monitors the influenza viruses circulating in humans and updates the composition of influenza vaccines twice a year. This flu season, the influenza vaccine will be quadrivalent. It will protect against two types of influenza A as well as two types of influenza B.
In addition to the vaccination, there are other precautions you may take. Hand washing is one of the most crucial. Covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze, avoiding contact with the ill, and avoiding contact with people when you aren’t feeling well are all vitally important. It is important to note that if you are not feeling well, you should stay home.
The Meigs County Health Department will kick off flu season along the river again this year. Get your flu vaccine and Covid vaccine from The Meigs County Health Department in conjunction with The Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 9 a.m. – noon on the Pomeroy Parking Lot. Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance accepted — please bring your card. Cash prices this year are $25 for regular flu and $60 for high-dose flu. The Meigs County Health Department offers all three types of covid vaccine for free at this time — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Call 740-992-6626 with questions. See you there!
Flu shots will be available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – noon and 1-4 p.m. at the Meigs County Health Department beginning Oct. 4. We ask you visit www.meigs-health.com to schedule an appointment for a COVID vaccine or contact the Meigs County Health Dept. for assistance.
Sherry Hayman, RN, is a public health nurse at the Meigs County Health Department.