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WCH Offers Flu Vaccine

By Staff | Sep 30, 2009

Wetzel County Hospital will be offering flu vaccine to the general public in the hospital’s Outpatient Clinic Offices on the following dates and times, or until all of the hospital’s allocation of vaccine has been dispensed:

Oct. 1, 1-8 p.m.; Oct. 3, 9 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m.; Oct. 6, 1-6 p.m.; Oct. 8, 1-6 p.m.; Oct. 10, 9 a.m. 1 p.m.; Oct. 15, 1-6 p.m.; Oct. 22, 1-6 p.m.; and Oct. 29, 1-6 p.m.

The vaccine will be offered on first-come, first-serve basis at a cost of $15 per injection, which must be paid at the time of service. Only Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage insurance plans will be billed and proof of insurance coverage must be presented at the time of service.

According to Wetzel County Hospital Infection Control Coordinator Jenny Abbott, R.N., the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Every year in the United States, on average: five percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and; about 36,000 people die from flu. The best way to prevent this illness is by getting a flu vaccination each fall.

In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, certain people should get vaccinated each year.

They are either people who are at high risk of having serious flu complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious complications. People who are considered at “high risk” should get vaccinated each year are:

-People 65 years and older;

-People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house those with long-term illnesses;

-Adults and children six months and older with chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma;

-Adults and children six months and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of a metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicines or by infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV/AIDS]);

-Children 6 months to 18 years of age who are on long-term aspirin therapy. (Children given aspirin while they have influenza are at risk of Reye syndrome.);

-Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season;

-All children six to 23 months of age;

-People with any condition that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions (that is, a condition that makes it hard to breathe or swallow, such as brain injury or disease, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other nerve or muscle disorders.)

For more information about the flu vaccine, call Abbott at 304-455-8073.