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Time again to get that flu shot

It’s almost autumn. Days grow shorter, trees are turning color. More mornings and evenings carry a chill. Birds are headed south.

Another sign of the season: Flu shots are returning in the region.

A number of area sites will offer annual flu vaccinations, beginning at the end of this month and continuing through October.

Anyone 6 months or older is recommended to get a flu vaccine. The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department encourages new parents, health care professionals and those who have contact with people age 65 and older to get vaccinated to help protect high-risk individuals.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, flu vaccinations should begin soon after vaccine becomes available, if possible by October.

But as long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s worth getting the shot, even in January — when activity usually peaks — or later, according to the CDC. It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop, so it’s best to get the flu shot sooner rather than later, before influenza begins to spread in the community, the CDC said.

The DIDHD will offer walk-in flu immunization clinics from 3 to 6 p.m. every Monday starting Sept. 30 and extending through Oct. 14.

Other flu clinics planned this month include:

— Oct. 2: 3 to 5 p.m., Norway High School;

— Oct. 3: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Sagola Senior Center, Sagola; 2:45 to 3:30 p.m., West Iron County School, Iron River;

— Oct. 10: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Windsor Center, Iron River;

— Oct. 17: 3 to 4:30 p.m., Forest Park School, Crystal Falls;

— Oct. 23: 10 to 11:30 a.m., Tadych’s Family Market, Iron Mountain;

— Oct. 24: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Crystal Falls Community Center, Crystal Falls.

The flu immunization can be billed to Medicare Part B, Michigan Medicaid and most private health insurances.

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, so should make sure they obtain the vaccine annually.

For more information, go to www.cdc.gov or contact the Health Department at 906-774-1868 or 906-265-9913.