Health Department hosts flu clinics in Oneida County this week
Flu shot, COVID boosters available at RHS today
For the Star Journal
RHINELANDER – The Oneida County Health Department is hosting several vaccine clinics this week, including one today, Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Rhinelander High School.
The clinic will take place 3:30-5 p.m. OCHD director Linda Conlon said the flu is more serious than people realize.
“Certain groups are at higher risk of complications from the flu but everyone six months and older should receive a flu shot,” Conlon said. “Getting the flu shot reduces your odds of getting sick. If you do, your illness will be less severe.”
The flu vaccine remains the most effective way to prevent illness caused by seasonal influenza viruses, Conlon added.
“We need a flu shot annually because our body’s immune response to the vaccine gradually declines and because flu viruses are constantly changing,” said Conlon. “Each year, the strains covered in the flu vaccine are reviewed and adjusted.”
The COVID-19 booster is also available at RHS and both shots can be taken the same day. Medical professionals recommend everyone age 12 and older should get the COVID booster, which helps protect individuals by increasing immunity that has waned since their previous vaccination. They also provide broader protection against the new variants.
“We know that COVID-19 vaccines continue to reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death,” said Conlon. “Without masking and quarantining, these boosters are our best defense against COVID-19 and the variants that are currently circulating in our communities.
“We also realize that many people may be getting weary of getting shots, but again this will provide us with the best protection and we want everyone 12 and older, and hopefully soon ages five to 11, to receive the updated booster as soon as they are able to.”
Flu shots and COVID-19 boosters are also available at the Sugar Camp Town Hall 11 a.m.-noon, Tuesday, Oct. 4 and Holy Family Catholic Church in Woodruff 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Oct.5. Flu shots only are available at the Oneida County Health Department in Rhinelander 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. through Friday, Oct. 7.
The flu vaccine is free for children six months to 18 years and $40 for age 19 and older. The bivalent COVID booster is free to everyone. The OCHD accepts several types of insurance and private pay. Visit oneidacountypublichealth.org for more information.