Flu Season Approaches – Time to Get Vaccinated


West Shore Medical Center today reminds area residents to prepare themselves for flu season by getting a flu vaccination at a local doctor’s office or a participating pharmacy. 

Influenza annually causes up to 200,000 hospitalizations and claims the lives of between 3,000 and 49,000 people in the United States.

The 2016-17 flu vaccine will provide protection against three types of influenza: an H1N1 type A virus that was prominent in 2009, a H3N2 Type A virus from 2014, and a Brisbane influenza type B virus similar to a virus prevalent in 2008. Some vaccines also offer protection against four types of influenza, two type A viruses and two type B viruses.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu shot. People who are at high risk for the flu include: 

  • Young children

  • Pregnant women

  • People with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease

  •  Senior citizens or people 65 years and older

“Anyone who has had the flu knows it should not be treated lightly. It is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe sickness, and at times lead to death,” said Mellissa Johnson, R.N., West Shore Medical Center's infection prevention specialist.  “Children younger than 6 months are too young to be vaccinated. To protect them, we need to vaccinate the people who live around them.”

To schedule a seasonal flu vaccination appointment or for vaccine questions, residents should contact their primary care provider. For those who do not have a primary care physician, call Munson HealthLink at 1-800-533-5520.

Area residents also may contact District Health Department #10 at 231-723-3595 for information on flu clinics or to schedule an appointment.