The La Salle County Health Department is recommending residents age 6 months and older to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza. Health department officials have received their first shipment of flu vaccines and will begin hosting clinics.
At this time, the health department doesn’t have Vaccine for Children or Children’s Health Insurance Program flu vaccine – but it has been ordered and is expected to arrive mid-to-late October. Such a vaccine would be for children 6 months old through those age 18 who have Medicaid.
Seasonal Influenza Vaccine and Influenza High Dose vaccines will be available for people age 65 and older. All La Salle County Health Department influenza vaccines are preservative free. The fee for the seasonal flu shot will be $25, and the fee for influenza high dose will be $60.
Insurance billing or cash only payment is offered. Debit or credit cards will not be accepted. Anyone who gets the vaccine must have their insurance card and a photo ID with them. No doctor’s order is required, and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The clinic schedule will be as follows: from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 30, and from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 5 at the vaccination trailer in the La Salle County Health Department parking lot, 717 E. Etna Road, Ottawa. This clinic also will have COVID-19 vaccination shots available.
Flu shot-only clinics are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Mendota Area Senior Services, 1901 Tom Merwin Dr., inside the Mendota Civic Center; and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Oglesby Elks Lodge, 800 E. Walnut St.
Those unable to attend one of the upcoming flu clinics can call the health department at 815-433-3366 to schedule an appointment. In addition, those in need of a COVID-19 vaccination can safely receive the flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. The health department encourages everyone who is eligible to receive their flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine to ensure they are as protected as they possibly can be.
The flu vaccine’s effectiveness varies from year to year, the health department said. However, those who still get the flu experience milder symptoms than those felt by people who have not been immunized.
Human immune defenses become weaker with age, and aging decreases the body’s ability to have a good immune response. Accordingly, a higher dose of protection in the vaccine is added to give older persons a better immune response. This additional protection is intended to create a stronger immune response, which will make the vaccine more effective in the elderly, the health department said. Influenza High Dose will be given to people age 65 and older.
For information, go to www.lasallecounty.org.