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Health department announces influenza, COVID vaccinations

KINGSFORD — The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department announces plans to conduct the following off-site community influenza and COVID immunization clinics. Appointments are necessary; no walk-ins will be accepted.

Individuals attending the clinics will be required to wear a mask. Please contact the office directly at 906-774-1868 in Dickinson County or 906-265-9913 in Iron County to make an appointment.

Dickinson County Clinic dates:

— Dickinson County Fairgrounds — Norway, Friday, Oct. 1;

— Dickinson County Fairgrounds — Norway- Friday, Oct. 22.

Iron County Clinic dates:

— Forest Park School (entrance near the parking lot by bus garage), Tuesday, Oct. 5;

— Forest Park School (entrance near the parking lot by bus garage), Friday, Oct. 29.

For Influenza vaccine, the health department will bill Medicare Part B, Michigan Medicaid and most private health insurances. Bring a copy of your insurance card. For self-pay, check or exact change is accepted. Self-pay prices for influenza vaccine are as follows; Standard Flu – $35 and High Dose Flu – $70.

There is no cost for COVID vaccinations.

DIDHD will not be offering regular walk-in flu clinics this year, so the agency urges individuals to attend one of the off-site clinics.

COVID vaccinations have been proven safe and effective for anyone 12 years and older. They help prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. For those individuals who are fully vaccinated, it is more likely they will experience a milder or shorter illness compared to those who are unvaccinated.

Immunocompromised individuals can schedule a third dose as early as 28 days following their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

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 is a great tool to decrease the chance of hospitalization due to influenza. The goal is increase influenza vaccination, decrease flu related hospitalizations, and spare the local hospital systems from overcrowding or being overwhelmed. 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.

For those individuals with access to the internet, consent forms for influenza and COVID-19 are available at didhd.org. Please print and fill out a consent form prior to arriving at your appointment; this will help keep the clinic flow moving. For those who are unable, there will be consents available at time of check in.

If you or your family is unable to attend the off-site clinics, please call them to schedule a flu and/or COVID vaccine. For more information go to www.cdc.gov or contact the Health Department at 906- 774-1868 or 906-265-9913.

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