The Clinton County Health District (CCHD) has received its supply of flu vaccine for the 2017-2018 flu season. Flu vaccine is available for all people over the age of 6 months, including the high-dose vaccine for seniors over the age of 65.
Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended annual flu shots for everyone over the age of 6 months. Immunization is especially important for seniors over the age of 65, pregnant women, and children between the ages of 6 and 24 months. (Immunization is not recommended for infants under age 6 months because it is not effective in young infants.)
Seniors, pregnant women, and young children are at much greater risk for complications and death from an influenza infection.
During the 2016-2017 influenza season (September 2016-August 2017), there were 108 deaths in U.S. children under the age of 18 due to complications of influenza. Seven of these deaths occurred in Ohio children.
The incidence of influenza is highest during the late fall, winter, and early spring, but it can occur at any time during the year. The CDC recommends that people get their annual flu shot during September or October, but it can be given at any time during the year.
In most flu seasons, the greatest number of infections occur in January or February. Children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years who have received fewer than two previous doses of influenza vaccine need to receive two doses of the 2017-2018 flu vaccine given at least four weeks apart.
For infants, children, and adults under age 65, the CCHD offers the quadrivalent, standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccine. Inactivated influenza vaccines do not contain live virus particles, so they cannot cause influenza. Quadrivalent influenza vaccines protect against two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B.
Seniors over the age of 65 may choose either the high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine or the standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccine. The high-dose vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen as the standard-dose vaccine, and produces a stronger immune response (higher antibody levels) in senior adults. The high-dose vaccine is trivalent, and protects against two strains of influenza A and one strain of influenza B.
Of note, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), which has been available in past years as a nasal spray, is NOT recommended by the CDC, and is not available at the Clinton County Health District.
Flu vaccine is available at the CCHD office at 111 S. Nelson Ave., Suite 1 during regular clinic hours or if a nurse is in the building. Please call 937-382-7221 in advance if you need to come at a time other than regular clinic hours.
The cost for flu vaccine is $25 without insurance. Most insurances, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, will be billed.
Clinton County Health District vaccine clinic hours are:
• 8-9 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
• 1-3 p.m. Wednesday
• 4:30-6:45 p.m. second and fourth Thursday