Washtenaw County Health Department encourages COVID-19 boosters, flu shots for the fall

Child at the doctor

This article appeared in Click On Detroit. Read more here.

With colder months and holiday parties right around the corner, it’s time for flu shots and COVID-19 boosters.

Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) officials are encouraging community members to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 booster vaccines and flu shots in order to protect their own health and others.

“COVID-19 is still circulating locally and we’re heading into flu season,” said WCHD medical director Dr. Juan Marquez in a release. “Vaccination can protect against severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to flu and COVID-19, while also reducing the overall spread of illness locally. Getting vaccinated can also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable like babies and young children, older people, and people with chronic health conditions.”

Annual flu vaccines are recommended for anyone aged 6 months and older. The CDC recommends getting the vaccine before the end of October.

Many influenza cases and hospitalizations were recorded between April and June this summer, officials said. Two hospitalizations have already been reported since the start of the 2022-2023 Flu season on Sept. 25, according to the WCHD dashboard.

As of Oct. 3, more than 130,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given to community members. Those over the age of 5 who have completed their initial COVID-19 vaccine series can also get booster shots.

Officials said the updated bivalent booster protects against two strains of coronavirus.

“COVID-19 vaccines continue to be very protective in preventing the worst outcomes of COVID, but we know vaccine effectiveness can decline over time,” said Marquez. “That is why it’s critical that everyone gets up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines. The longer out you are from your last dose, the more important it is to make sure you get boosted.”

WCHD will have a COVID-19 booster drive between 10:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Thursday at 555 Towner St. in Ypsilanti.

Appointments are not needed but community members must be in line by 3 p.m. in order to receive a boost. Those attending should bring their health insurance cards.

The health department continues to offer the initial COVID-19 vaccine series. Appointments can be scheduled online here or by calling 734-544-6700. Flu vaccines can be requested during COVID-19 booster appointments.

Find more about the flu at washtenaw.org/flu and more information about COVID-19 at washtenaw.org/COVID-19

Check out these prevention tips from the health department:

  • get vaccinated
  • stay home when sick
  • cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • wash hands in warm water with soap
  • thoroughly disinfect surfaces
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