Flu shots by appointment only at VMH Community and Home Care

Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care is still offering flu shots on an appointment-only basis. The Hi Dose flu vaccine is also still available.  Appointments can be made by calling 563-568-5660.   When the appointment is made, instructions are given for the private location the immunizations will be administered.

Those with an appointment to receive their flu shot should remain in their vehicle until the nurse comes to get them and should bring along their insurance or Medicare card.

Influenza, also called “the flu”, can cause fever, chills, headache, cough, sore throat and muscle aches to people of any age, and can lead to pneumonia and even death. Most deaths caused by influenza occur in the elderly, the very young or people who have a compromised immune system.

The Center for Disease Control now recommends that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu every year.  Flu shots are especially important  for the following people:
· Anyone age 50 and over.
· Residents of long term care facilities with chronic medical conditions.
· Any child or adult, including pregnant women, who has a serious long-term health problem with heart disease, anemia, asthma, lung disease, kidney disease or diabetes, and in the past year had to see a doctor regularly or be admitted to a hospital.
· Women who will be more than three months pregnant during influenza season.
· People six months to 18 years of age on long-term aspirin treatment (these people could develop Reye Syndrome if they develop influenza)
· People who are less able to fight infections because of a disease he/she was born with or contracted (like HIV), are receiving treatments with drugs such as steroids or are having cancer treatments with x-rays or drugs.
· Anyone having close contact with people who are at high risk for contracting a serious case of influenza including health care workers and people living with high risk persons.
· Influenza vaccines are also recommended for people in schools and colleges, people who provide important community services, people going to the tropics any time of the year and just anyone who wants to reduce their chance of catching influenza.

An annual flu shot is also encouraged for:
· Healthy children six to 23 months of age.
· Household contacts and out-of-home caretakers of infants from zero to 23 months of age, especially those younger than six months.
· People who provide essential community services.
· People at high risk for flu complications who travel to the Southern hemisphere between April and September, or who travel to the tropics or in organized tourist groups at any time.
· People living in dormitories or under other crowded conditions, to prevent outbreaks.
· Anyone else who wants to reduce their chance of catching influenza.

Since the influenza viruses change frequently, they may not always be covered by the vaccine and the vaccine does not protect against other viral infections other than influenza.

Anyone receiving the influenza vaccination should be sure to tell their doctor or nurse if they have or have had any of the following symptoms:
· A serious allergy to eggs.
· A serious allergic reaction or other problem after getting the influenza vaccination.
· Were ever paralyzed by Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
· Now have a moderate or severe illness.

Check with a local family practice physician regarding any questions about eligibility for the influenza vaccination. For more information or to make an appointment for a private flu shot, call Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care at 563-568-5660.

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