Flu Shot Deadline Is End Of October

Experts at the Jackson and Scott County Health Departments are encouraging the public to get flu vaccinations now.
While no cases have been reported yet, the Indiana State Department of Health said it is already seeing cases pop up across the state.
Influenza is a contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is spread by respiratory droplets released when infected people cough or sneeze nearby, or when people touch surfaces or objects contaminated with those infectious respiratory droplets.
People also may become infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with influenza virus and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.
Health officials said it takes about two weeks for the vaccination to reach full strength in the body, and people need to start getting their shots now.
“This is a pretty typical time for us to start seeing (the flu),” Lin Montgomery of the Jackson County Health Department said. “We want people to start thinking about what they can do to prevent the flu in early October and definitely have their shot completed by the end of October.”
Stacy East, an infection preventionist at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, said getting vaccinated now can make a difference by the time the season reaches its peak in January and February.
“You can get ahead of it,” East said. “It takes a couple weeks for the vaccine to work in your body. We want it to work throughout the whole season. The flu can be deadly to some individuals. We want to make sure as many people as possible get it to decrease the risk for everybody.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year.
In Indiana, there were 113 influenza-associated deaths last year, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. Among those deaths, 79 were age 65 and older.
“We did not have any (flu-related) deaths at the hospital last year,” East said. “We do see them occasionally. It wasn’t a rough year last year. We had an easier year as far as the flu. The year before, 2017 into 2018, was pretty rough.”
The county health departments now have flu shots available. The cost of the flu shot is $32 in Jackson County and $25 at the Scott County Health Department. It was noted that most insurances covering the cost of the vaccine.
Both county health departments accept appointments for flue shots. Scott County can call 812-752-8455 for an appointment or there is a walk-in flu shot clinic each Tuesday at their office on North Gardner Street.
There will be a drive-thru flu clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 18 at the Jackson County Health Department, 801 W. Second St., Seymour.
The health department has flu vaccines available in standard-dose and high-dose forms. High-dose is intended for people 65 or older, and contains four times the amount of antigen compared to the standard dose and creates a stronger immune response with better protection.
Last year’s influenza season in the United States was of moderate severity and lasted 21 weeks.
When parents bring their children to the health department for a flu shot, they also can get the school-required vaccines. The type of shots needed depends upon the child’s grade level.