Did you get vaccinated against flu yet? All locations of the Kent County Health Department are offering a flu vaccination clinic on Thursday, December 1, from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. This one-day clinic will offer low-cost or free vaccinations for individuals who are uninsured or have insurance that does not cover flu vaccines. Participants must be between the ages of 19 and 64 for this one-day clinic.
Fees for the vaccine are $15 or less, based on a sliding scale. Supplies are limited, and you must have an appointment to take advantage of this special opportunity. We have clinics in Kentwood, Wyoming, Rockford, and Grand Rapids (700 Fuller NE and the Sheldon Complex). Please call 616.632.7200 to set up your appointment.
Info from the Centers of Disease Control:
What is influenza (also called flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Signs and symptoms of flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Fatigue (very tired)
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
How flu spreads
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.
Period of contagiousness
You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.
Complications of flu
Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
Who should get vaccinated?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.