News Release

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
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Health Department announces Seasonal Flu shot clinics
H1N1 (Swine) flu vaccine coming later in the fall

(September 1, 2009) Health care providers typically receive Seasonal Flu vaccine late in the fall, but with plans to vaccine thousands against a second type of influenza--the novel H1N1 (Swine) flu--Seasonal Flu shot clinics are being scheduled earlier than usual.

A Seasonal Flu shot is recommended for nearly everyone over six months of age.

"The single best way to prevent Seasonal Flu is to get vaccinated each year," said Joshua Meyerson, MD, Medical Director for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. "If you are a parent or child care worker, a health care professional, or have contact with people age 65 and older, protect those high-risk individuals by getting vaccinated against the Seasonal Flu."

It is vital for parents and caregivers to realize that children experience the highest rates of influenza," said Meyerson. "About one in three children contract the virus every year. Infants and children can develop severe complications, such as pneumonia, seizures, and ear or sinus infections."

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is booking appointments now for Seasonal Flu shots at clinics, at Health Department offices, and senior centers in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. Appointments are required and can be made by calling the Health Department at 800-432-4121. The charge for the Seasonal Flu shot is $25; Medicaid and Medicare are accepted. Children up to 18 years old may qualify for a reduced rate through the Vaccine for Children program; ask the operator if your children are eligible.

Seasonal Flu shot clinics are scheduled at senior centers: Unlike some previous years, there is no shortage of Seasonal Flu vaccine.

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. For additional information about seasonal flu vaccination, contact the Health Department at 800-432-4121 or or call your health care provider.