Flu Vaccinations Available in Central Illinois
By Jim Meadows
Flu vaccine is widely available this season, and local health authorities are urging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Emily Trimmell of the Vermilion County Health Department says there’s no sure way to predict how severe this year’s flu outbreak will be.
“Last season was a pretty mild season”, said Trimmell. “So people can get kind of complacent, thinking it wasn’t that bad. But we never know from year to year what the flu season will be like. And even if it would be a mild season for the whole United States, it could be that there might be a hot pocket of flu in our particular region.”
The federal Center for Disease Control recommends flu vaccinations for everyone aged six months and older.
The Vermilion County Health Department is holding flu vaccine clinics for adults age 19 and up at its offices in Danville, twice a week in October. The charge is $30, billable to Medicare, Medicaid and Health Alliance. Call the health department for more information at 217-431-2662, extension 229. Trimmell says parents should call the health department to arrange for flu shots for children.
The Macon County Health Department offers flu shots and flu mist for adults on a walk-in basis at its offices in Decatur Monday through Thursday afternoons, and walk-in flu shots for children on Wednesday afternoons. A high dose flu vaccine is available for eligible seniors age 65 and older. The charge depends on the type of vaccination chosen. For more information, call the health department at 217-423-6988, extension 1333.
Julie Pryde with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District says a lot of people inquired before her staff started administering shots September 1st.
Pryde says her co-workers received the shots Monday as more clients and others come in.
She says there’s a wide variety of vaccine available, and isn’t concerned where people receive them.
"Although they may be able to take the vaccine, they may not get as good a response to it," Pryde said. "So when you're taking your flu shot, you're actually protecting yourself, and other vulnerable people in the community. It takes about two weeks to get full immunity from it."
Flu vaccinations are also available through many medical clinics and drug stores, including Carle, Christie Clinic, Walgreens and CVS.