Flu vaccine now available alongside COVID-19 vaccine at DeKalb County Health Department

Walk-in clinic hours Monday through Friday at DeKalb County Health Department

DeKALB - With flu season around the corner, local public health officials are now offering the flu vaccine, in addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, during walk-in clinic hours at the DeKalb County Health Department.

Since June, the health department has offered walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations Monday through Friday with no appointment needed.

To help increase opportunities for community members to receive the flu and COVID-19 vaccine, vaccines will be offered Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Health Department, 2550 N. Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb. A person can receive both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine within the same appointment, no need to wait to receive either vaccine.

To view the next Mobile Health Unit dates in the community, visit www.health.dekalbcounty.org. Dates will be updated as events and locations are added.

The next Mobile Health Unit will be held at the Taste of DeKalb on Sunday, Sept. 26.

Currently, individuals with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are recommended for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people currently receiving treatment for cancer, people taking medications that weaken the immune systems, organ or stem cell transplant recipients, individuals with advanced or untreated HIV infection, and other conditions. A full list of conditions can be found on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. Individuals who believe they are eligible for a third vaccine dose should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them and the appropriate timing of vaccination.

In DeKalb County, third-dose vaccinations are available through local pharmacies or the county health department and can be given 28 days after receiving the second dose. For clinics at the DCHD, a form stating you meet the criteria for a third dose will need to be signed in order to receive the 3rd dose for those who are immunocompromised.

COVID-19 booster shots are not yet being offered, as they have to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the CDC, according to the release. Once approved, and when IDPH recommends COVID-19 booster shots, local health departments, including DCHD, will provide details on how individuals can receive the booster. The distribution of booster shots may be different by county based on when and what type of vaccine residents received and the recommendations for administration.

The health department has administered 1,900 vaccines during these on-site clinics so far, and more than 90 community-based clinics have been held at local agencies, according to a news release from the department. Community clinics have occured at local agencies, businesses, schools, DeKalb’s Juneteenth Celebration, Lyons Tractor Fest in Waterman, the Sandwich Fair, and several pop-up sites at the DeKalb County Community Gardens’ Grow Mobile, a mobile food pantry.

2021-2022 influenza (flu) vaccine

No appointment is required for those seeking a flu vaccine at the DeKalb County Health Department, and public health officials recommend everyone 6 months and older receive it, with a few exceptions. Especially during the pandemic, it is recommended that everyone 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine, with few
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by various influenza virus strains.

The CDC recommends that a person receives the flu vaccine as soon as it is available as September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated. It takes up to two weeks for protection to develop after the shot.

The best way to lower a person’s risk of the flu is to receive a flu shot. Just like COVID-19, taking every day precautions like frequent handwashing and limiting exposure to people who are sick also help in preventing the spread of flu and COVID-19, according to the health department.

Flu versus COVID-19 symptoms

Many of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are the same, such as fever and cough, but there are some differences, according to the health department. Both are respiratory viruses and contagious, though COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than the flu, according to the CDC, and cause more serious illness.

Because many of the symptoms are the same, public health officials recommend testing for COVID-19 if you experience any of the following: fever or feeling feverish, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny or stuffy note, muscle pain or body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea, a change in or loss of taste or smell senses.

If a person has COVID-19, it could take them onger to experience symptoms, with an average of five days, or between two to four days for infection to present in COVID-19 patients. Flu patients average about one to four days before showing symptoms after point of exposure, according to the CDC.

Both viruses are typically spread by a person inhaling an infected person’s air droplets from saliva or by touching a surface that has the virus on it, and then touching their on mouth, nose or eyes, according to the CDC.

If you experience symptoms of either flu or COVID-19, self-isolate and contact a health care provider.

To learn more about the similarities and differences between symptoms of flu and COVID-19, visit the CDC website.