Oct 18 2017

County Executive and Department of Public Health Urge All Residents to Get Vaccinated Against Seasonal Flu

Influenza season has arrived and both County Executive Steve Stenger and the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health are urging all county residents six months of age and older to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu. To help combat seasonal illness, the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health will be hosting two flu vaccination clinics during October.

“This isn’t just about protecting yourself, although that is certainly important.” said County Executive Stenger. “If you don’t catch the flu, then you can’t spread the illness to others.”

“Getting the flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your family against the flu,” said Dr. Faisal Khan, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health. “Even if you encounter a flu strain not included in the vaccine, having been vaccinated will help decrease severity of your symptoms and the duration of your illness.”

Every year, seasonal influenza vaccine offers protection against different influenza types, based on recommendations from experts who determine which types are most likely to be circulating in the fall. Vaccines available for the 2017-2018 influenza season include:
 Trivalent influenza vaccines will contain the three vaccine virus strains below:
o an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
o an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
o a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
 Quadrivalent (four-component) influenza vaccines will include the strains listed above and an additional vaccine virus strain:
o B/Phuket/3073/2013–like virus (Yamagata lineage).
 FluMist® Quadrivalent is still an FDA-licensed product. As such, there may be some supply of FluMist® Quadrivalent on the U.S. market during the 2017-2018 season. It is important for clinicians and the public to be aware that because of concerns about this vaccine’s effectiveness, CDC recommends that this vaccine not be used during the 2017-2018 influenza season.

The costs of the vaccine at the Department of Public Health’s flu clinics are as follows:
 Uninsured children: Will receive the vaccination for free.
 Insured adults and children: Will be billed through their insurance provider.
 Uninsured adults: Will only pay $25.

The locations, dates, and hours of operation for each influenza vaccination clinic are provided below:
I. John C. Murphy Community Health Center
a. Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
b. Time: 9:30AM – 2:30PM
c. Address: 6121 North Hanley Road, Berkeley, MO 63134
II. South County Community Health Center
a. Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
b. Time: 9:30AM – 2:30PM
c. Address: 4580 South Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63127

Certain children will not be able to receive the influenza vaccination at these clinics:
 Children who have taken influenza-antiviral drugs 48 hours prior to the vaccination date.
 Children who are allergic to eggs.
 Children ages 2 to 4 who have asthma or a history of wheezing in the past 12 months.
 Children who have chronic health issues.

If your children have any of the conditions listed above, please talk to your health care provider about other vaccination options and ways to protect your children during the flu season. Additionally, adults with a severe egg allergy should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions.

While the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccination by the end of October if possible, other standard precautions being urged by the Department of Public Health are:
 Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
 Cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve.
 Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
 Try to maintain a distance of three feet between you and others.
 Stay home when you are sick or think you may be getting sick.

If you think you may have the flu, the department recommends that you contact your health care provider. Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, tiredness or fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Persons unable to attend one of these events are urged to visit the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health’s flu website for information on alternative sites to receive the seasonal flu vaccination:
For more information about the flu vaccine, visit: www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

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