Vaccine Available in Time for Flu Season
The 2010-11 flu vaccine is readily available at doctor's offices, pharmacies and urgent care facilities in Macomb Township.
Sometimes even before the snow falls, the sniffles begin and flu season rears its ugly head once more.
To prevent the aches, chills, cough and fever associated with the annual disease, Macomb-area medical personnel recommend the influenza vaccine.
"As soon as you can get a flu shot you should get it," said Dr. Parag Patel, of Silver Pine Family Physicians, located in the Beaumont Medical Center on Hall Road. "In years past, the holiday season and the New Year typically do bring a run (of flu) because people are getting together and there is a lot more interaction."
Patel, a self-described proponent of the flu shot, encourages all his patients who are able to get the vaccination to do so.
"For me, (the flu shot) is important to get because if you do come across the flu, you're going to be darn glad that you got it," Patel said.
New for the 2010-11 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lowered the recommended age for people to receive the annual flu vaccine to 6 months.
In addition, the CDC recommends children ages 6 months to 8 years who have never received a seasonal vaccine get two doses of vaccine at least four weeks apart.
This year's flu vaccine will protect against two influenza viruses as well as the 2009 H1N1 strain.
"We're seeing a lot of people with the symptoms, so I would encourage people to get their flu shot," said May Hang, a family nurse practitioner for CVS MinuteClinic. "It will take two weeks for your body to build up your immunity."
Patel said a common misconception about the vaccine is that it protects against all illness during the winter season.
"Any immunization you get is going to make you feel a little ill because it is activating the immune system," Patel said. "People get confused because they think they're not going to get sick at all, but the vaccine doesn't protect against the stomach flu and common cold."
Symptoms of influenza include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, fatigue and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.
In addition to private doctor's offices, flu vaccines are available at Macomb Township pharmacies and urgent care centers. Not all pharmacies are certified to administer the flu vaccine and some can only give the vaccine to ages 9 and older.
- CVS MinuteClinic (21 Mile Road): Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
- CVS Pharmacy: Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Kroger Pharmacy: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m. -5 p.m.
- Macomb County Health Department (43525 Elizabeth, Mount Clemens, MI, 48043): Mon-Tues, Thurs-Fri, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wed, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Rite Aid Pharmacy: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Target Pharmacy: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
- Walgreens: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.