With 80-degree days still in the forecast, it may seem too early to be thinking about cold and flu season, but flu outbreaks have been known to happen as early as October, and the health department isn't taking any chances of being unprepared.
To help ward off the fever, sneezing, aches and nausea that typically come with bouts of the flu, the Macomb County Health Department began offering a seasonal flu vaccine on Monday, Sept. 10, at its Mount Clemens, Warren and St. Clair Shores health centers.
Developed for the 2012-13 flu season, the vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses and is recommended for everyone six months of age and older. A person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time and annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection, according to the health department.
The vaccine is $15 and payable with cash or check. Children under age 18 with no insurance coverage for flu vaccine can receive the shot for an administrative fee of $8.
Debit and credit cards are not accepted as payment, but the fees may be billed to Medicare Part B or Medicaid for residents enrolled in those programs. Medicare or Medicaid billing requires recipients to show their program ID card and a valid driver’s license or other form of photo identification. HAP Medicare clients must pay the fee or obtain the vaccine at their medical provider.
The pneumonia vaccine will also be available to people at least 65 years of age or with special health concerns for a fee of $63.
Clinic locations and hours are:
- Mount Clemens Health Center, 43525 Elizabeth Rd., Mount Clemens: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
- Southeast Health Center, 25401 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
- Southwest Health Center, 27690 Van Dyke Ave., Warren: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Thursday; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Information for the seasonal flu vaccine may be found on the health department's website or by calling the flu hotline at 586-466-7923.