Health Plus: Flu Shots - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Flu Shots

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - The fall season is fast approaching, which is one strong indicator the flu season is among us.

Co-workers might soon be taking more sick days, or classrooms might seem a touch smaller with more kids staying home sick. Doctors stress the flu shot for that very reason, even though it's not the most enjoyable task.

"Flu season starts in the fall, so we start giving the flu vaccination anywhere from the end of September to the end of winter," Diane Lyman said, a Registered Nurse with Covenant Medical Center.

Lyman said the flu vaccination protects us from the respiratory flu, as well as the people around us. The vaccine comes in two forms: the injection in the arm, and the mist. The mist in inserted in both nostrils, and only available to those 49 years of age and younger without any respiratory problems. So, the mist wouldn't be recommended for a patient with asthma, for example.

Nurses dispel one of the most popular myths associated with the flu shot.

"Neither the flu shot nor the mist make you sick," Lyman said.

One might have a sore arm or tenderness at the injection site, or the "sniffles" after getting the mist; but Lyman said the flu vaccination will not make one sick.

Lyman said anyone younger than six years of age cannot get the flu shot. People can go to their primary physician, walk-in clinics or pharmacies to get the vaccination. Covenant Medical Center is also hosting several clinics this season:

Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo:
Sept. 24, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sept. 30, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls:
Sept. 29, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Mercy Hospital in Oelwein:
Oct. 7, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Nurses advise bringing insurance cards to clinics, and Covenant Medical Center can bill one's insurance company directly. The cost of the flu shot is $28; the mist costs $40.

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