Shots Encouraged for Protection as Flu Season Begins
With flu season historically beginning in the fall months and an increased number of cases often occurring in October, ThedaCare has started offering the influenza vaccine and is encouraging the community to get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of the illness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the best way to avoid influenza – a serious, contagious respiratory disease that causes coughing, congestion, fever, aches and pains – is by receiving the vaccination each year. It is recommended for everyone six months and older to get the flu shot, especially those who may be at high risk for developing serious complications from influenza.
ThedaCare recently kicked off its “The Flu is Not a Part of Our Plans” campaign to increase awareness about the importance of receiving an annual flu shot. “Getting vaccinated is not just for your own well-being, but also to protect the health of your family, your neighbors and the community around you,” said Adam Olson, MD, family physician at ThedaCare Physicians-Darboy. “If contracted, the flu can easily spread to others and it is especially dangerous for the younger population, pregnant women, adults 65 and older and those who already have pre-existing medical conditions.”
In years past, the CDC has recommended that people receive the vaccination via an injectable shot or nasal spray. For the 2016-2017 season, however, the public health institute is only recommending the injectable shot for usage in preventing the select group of circulating strains being targeted this season. The shot is the sole method of vaccination ThedaCare will be offering.
Patients are encouraged to contact their ThedaCare Physicians provider to schedule an appointment for the flu shot. The staff will coordinate any insurance billing needs and take care of recording vaccinations in patients’ electronic medical records. Flu shots are typically covered by most insurance providers and Medicare.
Vaccinations will also be available at ThedaCare FastCare clinics on a walk-in basis. They are in north Appleton and Darboy within Shopko stores. FastCare can only administer shots to patients who are 3 years or older.
“Our hope is that people will follow the CDC’s recommendations and get in early to receive flu vaccinations,” Dr. Olson said. “The repercussions of the flu are not worth the risk. One shot can help avoid spreading the illness and the missed work and school time, anti-viral treatments and more serious effects like hospitalization that can come with it.”
People with egg allergies should consult their provider about receiving the flu vaccination as the CDC has updated its recommendations for the 2016-2017 season. A high-dose flu shot option is available for those who are 65 years and older.
In addition to the flu shot, the pneumococcal vaccine is also available for adults through ThedaCare. People over the age of 65 are encouraged to receive this vaccination to help prevent pneumonia. Medicare covers the cost.
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 34 clinics in 9 counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton opened in February. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.