September 23, 2014

Medina
Sunny
63°F

Vaccine offered locally to kids for nasty flu season

MEDINA TWP. — Because the Medina County Health Department has been getting a lot of calls asking for child flu vaccines, it will offer an evening clinic Monday.

Seasonal flu vaccines for children 6 months through 18 years old will be available 5 to 7 p.m. at the Health Department, 4800 Ledgewood Drive.

Ohio and many states have seen an earlier and worse-than-usual flu season this year.

As of Thursday afternoon, 22 flu-related hospitalizations had been reported to the county Health Department. At this time last year, no flu hospitalizations had been reported.

In all of Ohio, 1,230 flu-related hospitalizations have been reported since flu season began, and last year in the same time period, 71 had been reported.

The cost for child flu vaccines at the Health Department is $12 for county residents, and $14.50 for out-of-county residents, but no child will be denied a vaccine because of inability to pay, spokeswoman Colleen Rice said.

“We wanted to open up an evening clinic because we know a lot of parents work,” Rice said.

Children’s seasonal flu vaccine also is available at a walk-in clinic 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Health Department.

A parent or legal guardian must accompany all minor children. For more information on flu clinics, visit www.medinahealth.org or call the Health Department at (330) 723-9688 or toll-free at (888) 723-9688 and choose option 1. Even though the Health Department has run out of adult seasonal flu vaccines, adults are encouraged to visit a medical provider, pharmacist, doctor’s office, or clinic to get it.

Seasonal influenza, also known as the flu, causes fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. It usually is spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing. Flu season in Ohio can begin as early as October and run as late as March, but it typically begins in January, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Doctors say the most effective way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.