Flu season officially begins soon; vaccine includes 3 strains - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flu season officially begins soon; vaccine includes 3 strains

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Deadly cases of the H1N1 flu virus have been popping up half a world away in India.  Here in the US, H1N1 will likely circulate again this flu season, which officially begins October 1st.

Even though a major outbreak is not expected, there's still ample reason to take steps to protect yourself from the flu.

Constant hand-washing was common practice a few years ago, when 40 million Americans came down with the H1N1 flu.  Since then, flu seasons have been mild in comparison.  But high-risk groups, like seniors, aren't taking any chances--getting vaccinated now, before flu season begins.

"I went to the doctor and they said, 'Do you want your flu shot?'  I said, 'Might as well!'  And I got it because it just wrecks everything being sick," said Norma Buck.

"Tomorrow. I'm on the list.  I usually get one every year," said Jim Rotsaert.

And health experts say they've got the right idea.  After all, complications from the seasonal flu result in an average of 36,000 deaths a year.  This year's flu shot is equipped to combat three strains of the virus, including H1N1 and two novel strains that surfaced last year.

"The California H1N1, the Victoria H3N2 and the Wisconsin B strains of influenza viruses are ones that will be included in the new vaccine.  I'd say that the supply of the vaccine is anticipated to be sufficient, and they're going to be available primarily through your primary care provider and many retail pharmacies," said Bruce Meisinger, Black Hawk County Health Department.

The flu vaccine's recommended for anyone over six months in age.  For seniors, the newer high-dose flu shot is widely available this year.  And this flu season, don't forget the most basic illness prevention steps.

"Cover that cough and wash those hands!"  Meisinger said.

Area Visiting Nurses Associations and Covenant Hospital in Waterloo will be holding public flu shot clinics in the coming weeks.

Here's a link to the listing of VNA clinics in the Iowa City area. 

Covenant Home Health will be hosting evening flu vaccine clinics for Wheaton associates, their families, and the public Tuesday, September 26 and Wednesday, October 3, both from 4-6 p.m. in the outpatient clinic.  (Use the second floor to check in at the circle desk.)  Cost is $27 for the shot at $35 for the mist.  Medicare and most major health insurance companies can be billed for the costs.  Cash will also be accepted.

An additional flu shot clinic will be held at the Cedar Falls Community Center, 6th and Main, October 3 from 8-11 a.m.

VNA Clinics in the Waterloo area are as follows:

9/23     10-11:30   Our Savior Lutheran Church 420 Harwood Waterloo, IA  50701

9/24     1-4     Sumner Durrant School 601 W 5th St. Sumner, IA 50674

9/25    12-1    Central Christian Church 3475 Kimball Ave Waterloo, IA  50702

9/27    9-11    Denver Community Center/City Hall 100 Washington St. Denver,IA  50622

10/1    10-11  Immanuel Presbyterian Church 1149 Hammond Ave. Waterloo, IA 50702

10/2    7:15-8:00   Nashua Elementary School 612 Greely St.,   Nashua IA  50658

10/3    7:30-8:00   Plainfield Middle School 417 Main St.,   Plainfield IA  50666

10/4     9:30    St. John's Lutheran Church 641 Lincoln St.,   Denver, IA  50622

10/8     1-4     Faith United Church of Christ 408 S. Main St. Tripoli, IA  50676

10/11   4-6     Janesville City Hall 227 Main St. Janesville, IA  50647

10/16   9-4     Redeemer Lutheran Church 2001 W. Bremer Ave. Waverly, IA  50677

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