DIDHD to hold drive-thru flu clinics

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IRON RIVER/KINGSFORD — The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department has announced plans to conduct the following drive-thru community influenza (flu) immunization clinics.
    The Iron County clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, in the parking lot of Forest Park schools.
In Dickinson County, the clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 10, in the parking lot of the Kingsford Middle School/High School.
To help with parking congestion, the DIDHD asks individuals attending the clinic to come according to the first letter of their last name. The following are only suggested times
• A-C: 9-10 a.m.
• D-H: 10-11 am.
• I-M: 11 a.m. to noon
• N-S: noon to 1 p.m.
• T-Z: 1-2 p.m.
Upon arrival to the clinic, stay in your vehicle and wear a facemask.
Because of social distancing measures as well as the safety and preservation of DIDHD staff, the health department has had to make some adjustments to how it will provide influenza vaccines to the community this year. DIDHD will not offer regular walk-in flu clinics this year, so we urge individuals to attend one of the drive-thru clinics. Flu vaccinations will be available at the drive-thru to those people 6 months of age and older at the discretion of their parents and DIDHD staff.  
These immunizations are billable to Medicare Part B, Michigan Medicaid and most private health insurance companies. Bring a copy of your insurance card (if possible). For self-pay individuals, checks or exact change are accepted. The standard flu vaccine is $35 and the High dose (available to those 65 years of age and older) is $70.
Health officials state it is very important to receive the seasonal flu vaccine, especially this year with the current COVID-19 pandemic. Flu is a contagious disease spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions. Infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions – such as heart, lung or kidney disease or a weakened immune system – are at higher risk for complication from the flu virus. Flu can cause high fever and pneumonia and make existing medical conditions worse.  
Each year thousands of people die from seasonal flu and even more require hospitalization. A flu vaccine a great tool to decrease the chance hospitalization due to influenza. DIDHD’s goal is increase influenza vaccination, decrease flu-related hospitalizations, and spare the local hospital systems from overcrowding or overwhelm. The single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.  It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine.
The DIDHD also encourages new parents, health care professionals, and those who have contact with people age 65 and older to get vaccinated to help protect these high-risk individuals.  
If you or your family is unable to attend the community drive-thru clinic, call the DIDHD to schedule a flu vaccine. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov or contact the Health Department at 906-774-1868 or 265-9913.