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Health Department sees uptick in flu cases; vaccinations still readily available

DECEMBER 16 The Health Department of Northwest Michigan has received reports of increased flu activity, and reminds families throughout Northern Michigan to schedule an appointment to receive this year's flu vaccine.

Anyone older than six (6) months of age should receive the flu shot, according to Suzette Daly, Family and Community Health Supervisor for the Health Department. Daly says the clinic staff can also work with the whole family to provide other essential vaccinations during your visit. The cost for seasonal flu vaccination is $25, payable by check or cash. Private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid are also accepted.

"Vaccination is the best way to protect against the flu," Daly said. "It can prevent serious illness and save lives, especially among kids and the elderly. And it's not too late to get yours for the 2013-2014 season."

Flu vaccinations offer protection throughout the entire flu season, which can begin as early as October and last as late as May. There are two types of flu vaccines: the flu shot, approved for use in people six (6) months of age and older, including healthy people, people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women; and the nasal-spray flu vaccine, approved for use in healthy people from 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.

The Health Department has vaccine in stock, and appointments are available for flu shots and other vaccines at its offices in Bellaire, Mancelona, Charlevoix, Petoskey/Harbor Springs and Gaylord, as well as its youth health clinics the Hornet Health Center in Pellston, and the Ironmen Health Center in Mancelona. Call the Health Department at (800) 432-4121 to schedule an appointment. You can also visit or for details on the flu vaccine and other important 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.