News Release

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
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(October 7, 2011) The flu has already started circulating in northern Michigan! The single best way to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated so it's the perfect time to make arrangements for seasonal flu vaccine for everyone in your family age 6 months and up.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is offering Community Immunization Clinics in partnership with local schools. In addition to seasonal flu shots and nasal flu mist, many other immunizations will be available for children and adults.

The Health Department's first Community Immunization Clinics are set for next week in Charlevoix County on October 17 at Boyne City Middle School and October 19 at Charlevoix Middle School. Many other Community Immunization Clinics are scheduled later in October and in November at schools throughout Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties.

The charge for flu vaccine is $25; charges for additional vaccines vary. "We can bill Medicare, Medicaid, or several private health insurance companies for immunizations, so if you have coverage, there's no out-of-pocket cost to you," said Pat Fralick, the Health Department's Director of Family & Community Health. Fralick said the Health Department does not turn away anyone age 18 or younger for inability to pay for immunizations required for school. She noted anyone under age 18 must have their parent or guardian accompany them for immunizations.

Fralick highly recommends making appointments at the Community Immunization Clinics. "We do quite a lot of preparation to make sure people can get in and out as quickly as possible," she said. "When we know how many are coming, we can bring plenty of vaccine and have adequate nursing staff. We can also identify any other vaccines individuals may need by checking the state's central immunization registry in advance and give them at that same appointment."

To schedule an appointment at any of the Community Immunization Clinics scheduled in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, or Otsego counties, call the Health Department of Northwest Michigan at 800-432-4121 during regular business hours.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties.