WHEELING, WV – Ohio Valley residents who are in need of a flu shot can visit the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department to get their yearly seasonal flu vaccination.

The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department will offer seasonal flu shots from 9:00-11:00am and again from 1:00-3:00pm on Mondays and Thursdays starting September 3, 2019.

At this time, seasonal flu shots will be offered to individuals 6 months of age and older. Anyone interested in getting a flu shot should call the health department for an appointment at (304) 234-3682.

The traditional Flu Season is counted from the first of November through the end of April. Vaccination remains the cornerstone of preventing influenza, a contagious respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses.

The vaccine formulation protects against the four virus strains that surveillance indicated will be most common during the influenza season. The strains selected for the 2018-2019 influenza season are:

  • an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1) pdm09–like virus
  • an A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2) like virus
  • a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (Victoria lineage)
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013–like virus (Yamagata lineage)

The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department encourages individuals to get their annual vaccination as vaccine becomes available in their community. It usually takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.

Health officials state it is very important to receive the seasonal flu vaccine. Flu is a contagious disease. It is caused by the influenza virus, which can be 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. 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.

This year the health department will accept Medicare B (Traditional Medicare), The Health Plan, Aetna, Allied Benefit Systems, Assurant, Clover, Continental, Coventry, First Health, Humana, Mail Handlers of American, Medicare Railroad, Meritain, Multiplan, PHCS, Strategic Resources, UMWA, WellCare and several other smaller insurance providers. Individuals without insurance can also be seen and receive a flu shot. Flu vaccine through the Vaccine for Children program is also available by appointment on Wednesdays.

While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
  • Health care workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

The health department will offer the traditional flu shot vaccination (quadrivalent) and will also carry the preservative free single dose vaccination (quadrivalent). Other delivery methods will be available depending on supply and community demand.

There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. These include:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.
  • People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
  • Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)

The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is now offering flu clinics for business and organizations. If your business or organization is interested in hosting a flu clinic, please contact the Health Department.

For more information on flu clinics or to schedule your flu shot call the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department at (304) 234-3682.