OGDEN -- It's fall, and for thousands of residents in the Top of Utah, that means it's time to prepare for the coming flu season.
The influenza vaccine is here, and both Weber-Morgan and Davis County health departments are offering the shot, as are local physicians and pharmacies.
The flu vaccine for the 2010-11 flu season will protect against the A H3N2 virus, influenza B and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, which means you will only have to be poked once, instead of twice like last year. The vaccine also comes in the form of a nasal spray.
Health department officials encourage everyone age 6 months and older to get the shot as soon as possible.
"There used to be concerns that the immunities from the shot would not last throughout the season if you got it too soon," said Michelle Singleton, Weber-Morgan Health Department immunization program manager. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has done research on that and now recommends for you to get the shot as soon as it becomes available."
Singleton said people with severe allergy to eggs or a severe allergy to any vaccine component should not get the vaccination. People who are moderately to severely ill should wait until they have recovered to receive the vaccine. Those with a mild illness are fine to be vaccinated.
Also, if you have ever had Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system, you should discuss the risk factors of getting the vaccine with your physician.
Singleton said pregnant women, young children, people older than 65 and people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma and heart and lung disease should not skip getting the vaccine. Health care workers and household contacts of people at high risk for complications from the flu also should be vaccinated.
She said research has shown that obese people are also at high risk of flu complications and should receive the vaccine.
Influenza is a viral infection that is easily spread through coughing and sneezing. It also can be spread by touching contaminated surfaces, such as doorknobs, countertops and telephones.
Symptoms of the flu include sore throat, fever, chills, headache, coughing, muscle aches and fatigue. H1N1 can also cause nausea and vomiting.
Davis County Health Department Director Lewis Garrett said that for some people, getting the flu is more than just an inconvenience. Sometimes the illness can lead to pneumonia and even death.
"According to updated figures from the CDC, influenza deaths ranged between 3,000 and 49,000 over the last 30 years in the United States, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized every year from flu-related complications," Garrett said. "Getting vaccinated against the flu is the easiest and most reliable way to keep from getting and spreading this potentially serious disease."
Besides getting the flu vaccine, it's important to practice good hygiene, said Garrett and Singleton. Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw away the tissue, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and stay away from others who are sick.
"Whether or not you feel you are at high risk for complications from the flu, someone you know and love is," Singleton said. "You can help protect them by getting immunized yourself. Infants under six months and some other high-risk people cannot receive the shot. Their only protection is to reduce their exposure."
Cost for the vaccine at each health department is $25. FluMist is $30 and a high dose shot for senior citizens upon request costs $45.
Where to go for flu vaccine
Weber-Morgan Health Department, 433 23rd St., is offering flu vaccinations 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and until 4:30 p.m. on Fridays.No appointment is necessary.
Davis County Health Department's immunizations hotline: 801-451-3315.
Times and places for immunizations in Davis County:
Senior citizen clinics by Davis County Health Department:
- Autumn Glow Senior Activity Center: 81 E. Center St., Kaysville - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today.
- Golden Years Senior Activity Center: 726 S. 100 East, Bountiful - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28.
- Heritage Senior Activity Center: 140 E. Center S., Clearfield - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1.
- Northern Utah Senior Fair: Davis Conference Center, 1651 N. 700 West, Layton - 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14.
General public clinics by Davis County Health Department:
- Clearfield Clinic: 140 E. Center St. (second floor), Clearfield - 8 a.m.-11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
- Bountiful/Woods Cross Clinic: 596 W. 750 South, Woods Cross - 8 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Fridays (until Oct. 29).
Community-based general public clinics by Davis County Health Department:
- Antelope Elementary School, 1810 Main St., Clearfield - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29.
- First National Bank, 1601 N. Hill Field Road, Layton - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30.
- Bluff Ridge Elementary School, 2680 S. Bluff Ridge Drive, Syracuse - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6.
- Clinton Recreation Building, 1651 W. 2300 North, Clinton - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7.
- Creekside Elementary School, 275 Mutton Hollow, Kaysville - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12.
- Adams Elementary School, 2200 E. 2500 North, Layton - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 13.
- West Point City Building, 3200 W. 300 North, West Point - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 20.
- Farmington City Building, 160 S. Main St., Farmington - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 25.
- Sunset City Building, 200 W. 1300 North, Sunset - 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27.
- Woods Cross City Building, 1555 S. 800 West, Woods Cross 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28.