In recognizing National Influenza Vaccination Week, Oakland County Health Division encourages residents to get vaccinated against influenza. The flu vaccine protects against as many as four flu viruses which are most likely to occur this season.
“Protect yourself and loved ones this holiday season by getting your annual flu shot,” said Kathy Forzley, director of Oakland County Health and Human Services. “Vaccination can reduce your risk of getting the flu and help protect the health of your family and friends.”
The Health Division recommends everyone over the age of 6 months receive an influenza vaccination and take preventative actions against flu, such as washing their hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub when soap and water is not available.
Flu shots are available for $24 at both Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield. Individuals 65 years and older qualify for a high-dose flu shot, which costs $53. Hours are 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Mondays and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Pre-payment and registration are not needed at these walk-in clinics.
Health Division offices are located at the following addresses:
• North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
• South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
Payment options include cash, credit (Visa/Mastercard), Medicare, Medicaid, most Blue Cross Blue Shield plans and Blue Care Network, and additional insurances. Credit card fees apply. Bring picture identification and all insurance cards to the clinic. The Health Division participates in the Vaccines for Children Program which offers vaccines at no cost for eligible children through 18 years old. No one will be denied access to services due to inability to pay; there is a discounted/sliding fee schedule available.
Children younger than 5 years, pregnant women, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of flu complications. These populations, as well as those who live with and/or care for them, should especially get vaccinated and take preventative actions.
Getting an annual flu shot decreases the risk of getting the flu. It also helps decrease severity of illness, complications, and protects the entire community, especially those who are unable to be vaccinated. The flu virus can be spread to others as far as six feet away, mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Less often, a person may also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose, or mouth.
The flu usually occurs suddenly and can cause mild to severe illness and sometimes lead to death. Symptoms include:
• Fever or chills
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)
For up-to-date information, visit www.oakgov.com/health, follow the Health Division on Facebook and Twitter @publichealthOC, or call the Health Division’s Flu Shot Hotline at 800-434-3358. Nurse on Call is also available to answer questions at 800-848-5533, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.