The Morgan County Health Department continues its annual tradition of flu vaccination next week. The annual flu bowl is scheduled for Thursday, October 7th and Friday, October 8th as a walk through vaccination clinic at the JHS Bowl located at 215 South Church Street.
Jacqui Barringer, Director of Nursing at the Health Department, says that they are also offering a third option this year: “We are coming out with the flu shots next week at the Flu Bowl. We’re going to be there on Thursday and Friday. We’ll be there on Thursday from 1-6PM and on Friday from 9AM-2PM, but we’ve added a new clinic this year. We have gotten such great success out at the Fairgrounds through the drive-thru. Of course, a large part of our population that takes the flu shots are the elderly and they are the ones at the most risk for influenza and even COVID. People enjoyed being in their automobiles in their own spaces and in their own car, so on Tuesday, October 12th, we will be out at the Morgan County Fairgrounds doing a drive-thru for those who would like to maintain in their own space.”
Barringer says Medicare Part B plans and most health insurance policies will cover the flu shot. For those without insurance, cost is $10.
Barringer also wants to emphasize that despite low flu numbers the last two years, it’s still important to get vaccinated for the flu and for COVID-19 at separate times: “I see so many memes and so many things saying ‘Where did the flu go the last couple of years?’ Communicable disease has taught us that we don’t turn our backs on any disease. When we focus only on one thing, the other is going to sneak around the corner, so get vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu so that we don’t have two going at the same time because that could be devastating.”
Barringer says you can get vaccinated anytime in between your COVID-19 vaccinations. She says not to get both at the same time. Barringer recommends anyone over the age of 50, pregnant women, young children over the age of 6 months, and those chronic underlying health conditions get the flu shot this season. You can pre-register for a flu shot by going here.
The calls for flu shots come as many hospitals around Illinois and the country are facing an non-seasonal deluge of patients — especially children — sick with viruses usually only seen during the winter, such as RSV, the croup, and foot-in-mouth disease.