WASHINGTON, MO – Mercy is making flu vaccinations easy to get during flu season. Influenza, or “flu” vaccinations are available at Mercy Corporate Health in Washington and Mercy Convenient Clinics in Eureka, Union and Washington.
According to the CDC, it takes about two weeks after a vaccination for one’s body to develop an immune response. People should be vaccinated now so that they will be protected when flu season begins. In the U.S., influenza season usually begins in October and can last until May.
This year’s vaccination will again provide protection from H1N1 and other influenza strains. Just one vaccination is needed for protection, said Joan Huxel, RN, BSN, manager of operations for Mercy Corporate Health Washington. “The CDC says vaccinations may provide immunity for up to a year, so the earlier you receive your vaccination, the longer you have protection.”
Flu symptoms often mimic colds with nasal congestion, coughs, aches and fatigue. Colds rarely come with a fever above 101 degrees while a fever is usually one of the first symptoms of the flu. Other symptoms are body and muscle aches. Vomiting and diarrhea is associated with H1N1.
Vaccination is the best way to avoid the flu. Vaccinations are appropriate for individuals at least 4 years old and include an injection, a nasal mist for people who prefer to avoid needles and a “high dose” injectable vaccination for people 65 and older. The flu also can be avoided with frequent and thorough hand washing. “Your hands can look and feel clean and still be contaminated with germs that spread illnesses and disease,” Huxel said. “To help prevent colds and flu, rub your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Doing this frequently and being vaccinated are the most important preventative measures we can take.”
Flu vaccinations are available during the week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Mercy Corporate Health Washington, which is located inside Mercy Urgent Care at 3195 Phoenix Center Drive. The cost is $30 for the injection or mist or $50 for the high dose injection. At Mercy Corporate Health, payments may be made by cash, check and credit card. Appointments are not necessary. Medicare is accepted if patients do not carry a Medicare supplement. For more information, call 636-390-2600 and select 2.
Mercy Convenient Clinics have extended hours and no appointments are needed. Mercy Convenient Clinic Eureka is located at 20 Legends Parkway in Eureka. Mercy Convenient Clinic Washington is located at 901 Patients First Drive in Washington. They both are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. Mercy Convenient Clinic in Union is located at 1935 Prairie Dell Road and is open from 7a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The cost is $30 for a basic injection, which is refundable if covered by a patient’s health insurance.