While flu is unpredictable, it's likely that 2009 H1N1 viruses and regular seasonal viruses will cause illness in the United States this flu season. The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1virus that caused so much illness last season.
"Flu season is on its way and we encourage all Michigan residents over 6 months of age to get vaccinated," said Linda Yaroch, Deputy Health Office for the Health Department. "The single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Everyone 6 months of age and older--including healthy people--need to get vaccinated against influenza this year and every year."
The Health Department has lots of vaccine in stock and has appointments available for flu shots and flu mist at offices in Bellaire, Mancelona, Charlevoix, Petoskey/Harbor Springs, and Gaylord, as well as at local businesses. Cost for seasonal flu vaccination is $15; Medicaid and Medicare are accepted. No one is turned away for inability to pay. Call the Health Department at 800-432-4121 to schedule an appointment.Flu vaccinations are effective throughout the entire flu season, which can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Vaccine manufacturers expect shipments to be made on-time this year. A record number of doses of flu vaccine - 160 million – are expected to be produced this flu season and the Health Department has already received initial shipments. There are two types of flu vaccines:
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 contact your health care provider, call your local health department, visit www.nwhealth.org or www.cdc.gov/flu.