Flu shots begin at VMH Community and Home Care - Allamakee Public Health

Flu shots are beginning October 4 at Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) Community and Home Care/Allamakee Public Health. Flu shots are recommended for all those who have not yet received the vaccine and will be effective throughout the rest of the flu season.

Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care will be offering flu shot clinics all Wednesdays in October, including October 4, 11, 18 and 25. Walk-in clinics will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. and appointments can be made for immunizations those afternoons by calling 563-568-5600.

Flu shot clinics will also be held around Allamakee County on the following days:
• Lansing, Friday, October 6 from 3-5 p.m. at the IC Church basement
• Waterville, Tuesday, October 10 from 2-5 p.m. at Waterville Library
• New Albin, Friday, October 13 from 3-5 p.m. at New Albin Townhouse
• Postville, Tuesday, October 17 from 4-6 p.m. at Northeast Iowa Wellness Center.

Medicare does cover the cost of the flu shot. Billing for vaccinations will be completed by the Community and Home Care staff, but participants will need to bring their Medicare number or private insurance card with them. If insurance does not cover these immunizations, they can be purchased instead.

Influenza (flu), as described by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is a potentially fatal, contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu vaccines prevent and diminish the severity of flu-related illness, reducing the need for clinical medical care and hospitalization.

Flu vaccines are effective at saving and protecting lives and health system dollars. They reduce the potential for serious illness while also reducing strain on healthcare resources and the workforce. Vaccination is especially important in the fall and winter when respiratory diseases circulate in high volume across the country. On average, 26.8 million Americans become infected with the flu every year. These vaccines work by activating the body’s immune response, which can protect from severe respiratory illness.

The CDC now recommends that everyone age six months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu every year. For those who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, flu vaccination is especially important. These groups include:
• Adults 65 and older
• Adults with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease
• Pregnant people
• Children younger than five years, but especially those younger than two years old.

Beginning with the 2023-2024 season, all updated flu vaccines have been proven safe and effective for people with any form of an egg allergy. Former safety measures are no longer recommended for flu vaccination of people with an egg allergy. However, all flu vaccines should continue to be given in settings where allergic reactions can be recognized and treated quickly. The flu vaccines have also been updated to include the strains that are most likely to circulate during this year’s flu season.

Allamakee Public Health anticipates receiving COVID vaccine soon and will offer it when it becomes available. Public Health will be offering Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID vaccine. Anyone can receive Pfizer vaccine, even if Moderna vaccine was given in the past. According to the CDC, it is safe and effective to receive multiple immunizations, such as the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, during the same vaccination appointment.

For more information, call the Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care Department at 563-568-5660. Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care is located on the upper level of Veterans Memorial Hospital.