People getting flu shots early | ParkRecord.com

People getting flu shots early

Greg Marshall, Of the Record staff

Voting isn’t the only thing some Summit County residents are electing to do early this year.

They’re also getting their flu shots.

About 1,000 people have gone to Summit County Health Department clinics for flu shots so far this season. Officials report a steady stream of traffic at clinics in Park City, Coalville and Kamas in early October. Grocery stores, too, have seen encouraging numbers of people receive vaccines.

Health officials, in recent years, have battled the misconception that October is too early for an influenza vaccine. "The flu in Utah peaks in February," said Amy Bradford, a nurse at the Summit County Health Department. "And the vaccine lasts for eight months, so if you get it now you will be covered."

No cases of the household virus that causes aches, pains and upset stomach have been reported in Summit County yet this season, but health officials aren’t taking any chances. The Summit County Health Department and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are asking kids from 6 months to 19 years old to get the vaccine. Previous age recommendations were less inclusive.

"This year the CDC wants everyone to get it," Bradford said. "Even if you get the flu and you’ve been vaccinated your symptoms will be less severe."

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In 2007, five people in Summit County were hospitalized with the virus, Bradford said.

Prices for the vaccine vary slightly depending on vendor. The health department charges $20 for traditional injections. A relatively new nasal spray that administers the same three-strain treatment costs $25. Grocery stores in the area charge a flat rate of $25 for both.

Walk-ins are welcome at all locations and the health department makes house calls for people who can’t huff it to a clinic.

Officials also noted that Medicare Plan B covers the vaccine for its patients.

"If you’re healthy and between the ages of two and 49, the nasal spray is a good alternative," Bradford said.

People with depleted immune systems, infants, pregnant women and the elderly are not permitted to receive the nasal vaccination because it contains live cultures.

One reason for expanding outreach efforts is that health officials are not short on vaccines, as they have been in previous years. Private labs and health departments plan to administer vaccinations to 146 million Americans this year. "There’s no reason to think there’s going to be a shortage," Rebecca Ward, a representative of the Utah Health Department, said. "Anyone who wants to avoid getting influenza should get the vaccine."

Health officials can’t say yet whether this flu season will be a bad one. "Typically, we don’t predict flu seasons," she said. "There’s no way to tell how bad it will be."

What Ward could say, though, is that this year’s vaccine appears to be effective in fighting the most virulent strains of the flu virus in the country.

The flu vaccine is only one measure people should take to guard against the spread of the virus, officials said. "Wash your hands frequently," Ward advised. "If you do cough or cover, use a tissue and throw the tissue away."

The best thing people can do to prevent a bad flu season is to take responsibility. "Avoid work and school when you’re sick," Ward said.

2008 Health Department flu shot clinics

No appointment is necessary during flu clinic hours.

Cost for flu shot is $20, flu mist is $25

Pneumonia vaccines are available for those over 65 for $40 per shot.

We take cash or checks only, no credit cards.

Flu Home Page

Park City office

Richins County Building

6505 N. Landmark Drive, Park City

435-615-3910

Thursday, October 30

9 – 11 am, 1 – 6 pm

Friday, October 31

9 – 11 am, 1 – 4 pm

Tuesday, November 4

9 – 11 am, 1 – 4 pm

Thursday, November 6

9 – 11 am, 1 – 4 pm

Friday, November 7

9 – 11 am, 1 – 4 pm

Regular Flu Clinics

Every Wednesday starting Nov. 12

9 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 4 p.m.

Coalville office

85 North 50 East, Coalville

435-336-3234

Wednesday, Nov. 5

9 – 11 am, 2 – 4 pm

Wednesday, Nov. 12

9 – 11 am, 2 – 4 pm

Vaccine clinics will be held every Tuesday starting Nov. 18 from 2 – 4 p.m.

Kamas Office

110 North Main, Kamas

435-783-4351 ext. 3071

Wednesday, Nov. 5

9 – 11 a.m., 2 – 4 p.m.

Vaccine Clinics every Tuesday starting Nov. 11 until out

9 – 11 a.m.

Except 2nd Tuesday

2 – 4 p.m.

Call for clinic times in December

University of Utah’s Redstone Health Center

1743 West Redstone Center Drive, #115

Cost is $20

No appointment necessary. No insurance needed. Medicare can be billed.

Thursday, Nov. 6

8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Contact: Joni Homer

435-658-9200

Some grocery store clinics:

Albertson’s at 3151 Kilby Road

Nov. 6 from 4 until 8 p.m.

Albertsons’s at 1760 Park Ave. Nov. 6 from 10 until 2 p.m.

An annual flu shot is recommended for:

Everyone 50 years of age or older.

Residents of long-term care facilities housing persons with chronic medical conditions.

Anyone with heart, lung, kidney disease or asthma

Anyone with weakened immune

Tips to protect from the flu:

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer.

Cover your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.

Use a tissue to wipe your nose.

Stay home to avoid spreading germs if you or your family members are coughing, sneezing or have aches or fever associated with the flu.

Courtesy: CDC

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