Flu Season is here…

This year it is more important than ever to protect yourself, your family and our community by getting a flu shot.

The vaccine is now available at all Hamilton clinics. This year, we are offering late night and curb side flu shots without an appointment. Plus, you can also get your flu shot at the drive-thru clinics and inside all clinics during normal business hours, but an appointment is needed for both of those.

“We are fighting flu on all fronts and making it as easy as possible for someone to get their flu vaccine, explained Sherry Pace, COO of Hamilton. “We want everyone in the community to be vaccinated against flu this year…and every year.”

To reach the aggressive vaccination goal set by public health officials here in Michigan, Hamilton is planning to give more than 2500 vaccinations this year. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, we’re dedicated to keeping our patients and the community healthy this flu season.

What is Flu?

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness. It is not the stomach bug. In fact it is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)

Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. And not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot

In the simplest terms, everyone older than 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine/shot.

If you are a person who is at high risk of flu complications, it is imperative that you receive a flu shot this year and every year. These individuals include:

  • Adults aged 65 years and older
  • Children younger than 5 years of age, specifically those younger than 2 years
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with chronic health conditions including asthma, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer, children with neurologic conditions

Most Common Myths about the Flu

The best place for you to learn about the flu and the flu vaccine is in your doctor’s office. Your physician can help guide you through the many opinions and myths that are shared amongst us. But remember, any questions you have about the flu and its vaccine should be addressed with your doctor, not Google. Here are a few myths that we often here and we’d like to clear up.

MYTH: You can get the flu from the vaccine.

Nope. The flu vaccine has an inactive virus, a dead virus that cannot transmit an infection. If you get sick within a week or two after getting a flu shot, you were already sick. It takes 1 to 2 weeks for the flu shot to start protecting you. This is a great reason why it’s important to get your flu shot early in the season.

MYTH: It’s just the flu, nothing serious.

The flu is not a disease to take lightly. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from flu. Plus, if you’re someone who is at high risk of developing complications from the flu, the risk of hospitalization or death increases. This includes seniors, young children, anyone with long term health problems, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease, and even pregnant women.

MYTH: The flu vaccine is not safe.

The flu vaccine goes through a rigorous safety test, just like all vaccines. Many times vaccine skeptics point to inactive ingredients used in some versions of flu vaccines. Two of those include Thimerosal and Formaldehyde. Thimerosal is used as a preservative and formaldehyde is used in killing the live virus to make it inactive. Repeated studies have shown that these substances are not harmful in the tiny amounts contained in flu vaccines. 

MYTH: Flu shot side effects are worse than the flu itself.

The flu vaccine can occasionally cause side effects such as mild aches, fatigue, headache, or fever. The most common side effect is discomfort or minor pain around the site of the injection. These side effects are not nearly as severe as the actual flu.

MYTH: Flu shots don’t work.

The CDC conducts studies every year to determine how well the season’s vaccine protects people against flu illness. The vaccine here in the USA is based on the flu in the southern hemisphere as their flu season is ending when ours is beginning.

Plus, studies show that vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness between 40% and 60% when the vaccines are well-matched against the viruses.

MYTH: Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated.

Healthy people get the flu. Even though it may not be as severe, healthy people benefit from being vaccinated.  

MYTH: I never get sick so I don’t need the flu shot.

Anyone can get sick from the influenza virus. By getting the flu shot, you’re basically getting insurance. If you get the flu, the symptoms won’t be as sever. Or the shot can completely keep you from getting it at all. Either way, it’s protecting you.

Be a Flu Fighter with Hamilton

We know you’re busy, so Hamilton is making it as easy as possible for anyone to get a flu shot.

Hamilton flu vaccines are available:

  1. CLINIC: All Hamilton clinics during regular business hours, just call for an appointment.
  2. CURBSIDE: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM at rotating clinics:
    • Mondays – Hamilton Main Clinic
    • Wednesdays – Hamilton Clio Clinic
    • Fridays – Hamilton Lapeer Clinic
  1. CURBSIDE EVENING: 5:00 – 7:00 PM on Wednesdays, rotating between clinics October – December.
    • Oct 21 – Main
    • Oct 28 – Burton
    • Nov 4 – Main
    • Nov 11 – Lapeer
    • Nov 18 Clio
    • Dec 2 – North Pointe
    • Dec 9 – Lapeer
    • Dec 16 – Clio
    • Dec 20 – Burton
    • Dec 23 North Pointe
  2. DRIVE-THRU: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 – 4 at North Pointe on Clio Road and at the Burton Fire Station No. 1(appointment necessary)

All Hamilton flu vaccines are No-Cost. We will not charge anyone, but will ask you to bring your insurance card, if you have one, for billing purposes as the flu vaccine is typically a covered benefit. This allows us to continue to provide no-cost flu vaccines for those without insurance in our community. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 810.406.4246 or go online to Hamiltonchn.org.

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