Sandolm, IDPH stress importance of flu vaccine for 2020-21
Iowa Department of Public Health officials are stressing the importance of getting a flu shot this year because of COVID-19.
Sumer Sandholm, Montgomery County Public Health nurse said the flu vaccine will help prevent additional hospitalizations related to respiratory issues associated with the flu.
“There are two types of flu shots available for the 2020-21 flu season. The two types are a trivalent and a quadrivalent. The trivalent protects against three strains of flu viruses and the quadrivalent protects against four strains,” said Sandholm. “Montgomery County Public Health offers the quadrivalent vaccine.There is also a high dose quadrivalent vaccine available for patients that are 65 years old and older.”
She added MCPH offers the flu vaccine to children 6 months to 18 years with Medicaid or no insurance at no cost. Cost for adults is $25 and adults over 65 years wanting a high dose vaccine is $50. They can also bill Medicare.
Montgomery County Public Health can also schedule to come to a business or office for the 2021-22 flu season to make getting a flu shot more convenient.
To schedule an appointment or clinic for flu shots call MCPH at 712-623-4893.
The flu vaccine is also available at the Red Oak Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Medicap Pharmacy in Red Oak and the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital
The IDPH recommends the vaccine be administered by the end of October, but vaccination should continue to be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating locally and unexpired vaccine is available.
The IDPH additoinally stated the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducts studies each year to determine how well the influenza vaccine protects against flu illness.
While vaccine effectiveness can vary, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40 percent and 60 percent among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine.