CHA Recommends Everyone Get A Flu Shot
By: Mike Stiles - Thursday, October 21, 2021

(photo courtesy of Center For Disease Control)

(COLDWATER) – The Centers For Disease Control recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.

Getting a flu vaccine during the 2021-2022 flu season will be more important than ever. While flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on a health care system caring for people with COVID-19. Kali Nichols, Director of Personal Health and Disease Prevention with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency says October and November are good times to get vaccinated. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccinations should continue, even in January or later.

Nichols says everyone aged 6 months and up is recommended to receive a flu shot and the CHA is encouraging the public to get their vaccination as soon as possible. She says flu shots are available not only at the CHA agency offices, but at your physician’s office and pharmacies throughout the tri-county area.

In addition to the vaccine, stopping the spread of germs is important for many reasons: the prevention of flu, COVID-19, and the common cold are just three examples. Follow these few tips from the CDC to help keep germs at bay: Try to avoid close contact with sick people or if you are sick, limit contact with others; If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities; Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; and wash your hands often with soap and water.

The CHA offers free vaccinations to qualifying families with children age 18 or younger through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. This program is for children who are not insured or whose insurance does not cover immunizations. To get your flu shot from the CHA, please call your local office and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

In St. Joseph County, you can call the CHA office at 269-273-2161 and immunization clinics are on Tuesdays. In Branch County, the CHA office number is 517-279-9561 and the immunization clinic is on Mondays, while in Hillsdale County you can call 517-437-7395 and the immunization clinic is on Wednesdays.

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