WASHINGTON, MO – Mercy is making influenza immunizations easy by offering them at most Mercy Clinic physician offices, Mercy Corporate Health in Washington, Mercy Convenient Clinics in Union and Washington and Mercy Urgent Care in Eureka.
The influenza – or flu – virus brings discomfort to healthy people, but in people who are already sick or have a compromised immune system, the flu can be deadly. Symptoms often mimic colds with nasal congestion, coughs, aches and fatigue. Colds rarely come with a fever above 101 degrees while a high fever is usually one of the first symptoms of the flu. Other symptoms are body and muscle aches.
People who are vaccinated now will be protected throughout flu season and up to an entire year. This year Mercy is offering vaccinations that again provide protection from the influenza strains that are expected to be in the community. There are choices that are safe for people who have allergies to egg, egg products and thimerosal and are safe for pregnant women. Immunizations are offered by injection, a nasal mist for people who prefer to avoid needles, and a “high dose” injectable for people 65 and older.
“Flu shots are recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months,” said Jennifer Scheer, MD, medical director for Mercy walk-in clinics. “It is simply the best way to prevent this serious disease.” Frequent and thorough hand washing also can prevent the spread of viruses, colds and other illnesses.
Patients don’t need to know which type of immunization they need. Mercy clinicians will help determine what is best for each patient. “There’s a screening process, and our providers will make the determination based on a patient’s medical history and current health needs,” said Dr. Scheer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that it takes about two weeks after an immunization for the body to develop an immunity to the flu virus. For complete protection, people should be immunized at least two weeks before being exposed to the virus. In the U.S., flu season can begin as early as October and end as late as May.
For more information, call your Mercy Clinic physician or stop by Mercy Corporate Health in Washington, 3195 Phoenix Center Drive, during normal business hours. For extended hours and walk-in convenience, visit Mercy Urgent Care and Mercy Convenient Clinics. For contact information about Mercy’s walk-in clinics, visit www.mercy.net/washingtonmo/service/urgent-care.
Flu immunizations start at $30 and may be refundable by a patient’s health insurance. For price information, please contact your preferred Mercy location.