The 2021-2022 flu season is officially underway, and Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) warns that this season could be more active than last year.
In 2020, the flu season was mild, with no pediatric deaths and just 34 hospitalizations in Colorado. However, our mild flu season is likely to change this year because many of the COVID-19 precautions that also kept flu activity low in 2020, such as social distancing and mask-wearing, are more relaxed, possibly resulting in a more active flu season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is possible to get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. “You can only imagine how sick you’d feel having both viruses at once. Having one is enough to cause severe illness,” explains Allison Sanchez, Public Health Clinic Manager at MCPH. “Last year, we didn’t have a COVID-19 vaccine available for most of the flu season. This year, we have effective vaccines available for both viruses.”
Flu clinics are for people of all ages, with special considerations for children. Flu vaccination is typically covered by insurance, and if you do not have insurance, you qualify for our vaccine program, significantly reducing the cost. Don’t let cost be a barrier, we have options.
- Saturday, October 16th from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. (open to all ages)
- Saturday, October 23rd from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. (open to all ages)
- Community Services Building Parking Lot, 510 29 ½ Road
WHAT TO BRING:
- Insurance card* – if you have it, if not, don’t worry!
REGISTER AHEAD OF TIME:
We encourage you to register in advance here.
You can get the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time, and The MCPH COVID-19 vaccine clinic will also be open during flu clinics. Residents who want to get both vaccines at the same location at the same time may do so by going inside our building during the drive-thru operation for a COVID-19 vaccine. Registration for COVID-19 vaccination can be found here.
*COVID-19 vaccinations do not require identification or insurance.
Prefer an appointment?
The MCPH Clinic offers flu vaccination during regular business hours – Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. If you would like your flu vaccine outside our drive-thru flu clinic hours, an appointment is needed. We urge all residents who want to get a flu vaccine to come in and see us or give us a call at 970-248-6900 with any questions.
NOW IS THE TIME TO GET A FLU VACCINE
- Three Colorado kids died last year from the flu.
- Influenza and Pneumonia is the 8th leading cause of death in the Nation.
- In Colorado, influenza and pneumonia were responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths between 2014-2018. 101 of those were among Mesa County residents.
- The unpredictable nature of influenza makes it challenging to interpret the severity of the upcoming season.
- Flu vaccines are safe. Last season more than 169 million doses of flu vaccine were distributed, the most ever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Although we’re currently in flu season you can get sick with the flu any time of year.
- Between August 1 and September 25, 2019, 21 cases of influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported across Colorado. This is more than the number of cases reported during the same time period last year, but the levels are considered normal for the time of year.
- Additionally, there were reports of positive influenza A among residents of Mesa County in September. This is nearly two months earlier than the first positive lab reports during the 2018-19 flu season.
- The 2018-19 flu season resulted in 117 hospitalizations in Mesa County. Last season was longer but not as severe as the 2017-18 season where there were 232 hospitalizations.
- Get your flu shot where it is most convenient for you.
- Mesa County Public Health offers the flu vaccine to all patients regardless of ability to pay and has two upcoming clinics to help our community fight the flu. Both clinics will be held at the Community Services Building, located at 510 29 ½ Road.
- Tuesday, October 8th from 8 a.m. -1 p.m. (adult only)
- Saturday, October 19th from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. (all ages)
MCPH hosts upcoming flu clinics • Tuesday, October 8th from 8 a.m. -1 p.m. (adult only) • Saturday, October 19th from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. (all ages)
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MESA COUNTY FLU HOSPITALIZATIONS INCREASE IN CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN FIVE
- Since Feb. 26, hospitalizations due to flu in children younger than five increased by 26 percent (30% of total hospitalizations.)
- Children younger than five years usually need medical attention if they become sick with the flu.
- A total of 114 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported nationwide, this flu season. One pediatric death occurred in Colorado. No pediatric deaths due to flu have been reported in Mesa County, this flu season.
- Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has plenty of pediatric flu immunization available. Cost won’t be a barrier – anyone who wants a flu immunization can get one at MCPH.
- Flu continues to affect all Mesa County resident with eight new flu hospitalizations reported during the weekend. Since Oct. 1, 2018, 203 hospitalizations have been reported due to flu.
- Hospitalizations due to flu in the 55 years and older population have decreased, but they still make up the majority of hospitalizations, accounting for 70 percent during the past week.
- Flu season runs through May, so it isn’t too late to get your flu immunization.
- Although the flu immunization for this season is only 36 percent effective, it’s proven to reduce the severity of symptoms related to flu.
- Getting your flu immunization not only protects you, but those around you who are too young or are unable to get immunized.
- Mesa County Public Health is offering flu immunization by walk-in at our clinic, 510 29 ½ Road in Grand Junction, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. We serve all patients, regardless of ability to pay.
- Stay up-to-date on flu information in Mesa County by following our Daily Flu Update, here.
MCPH IS OFFERING SHINGRIX FOR HEALTHY ADULTS 50 YEARS AND OLDER
- Mesa County Public Health is offering shingles immunization (Shingrix) to healthy adults 50 years and older.
- Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash that can lead to severe nerve pain that can last for months or years after the rash goes away. About one in three people in the U.S. will develop shingles in their lifetime. It’s more common in older adults.
- Shingrix reduces the risk of shingles and complications due to shingles by more than 90 percent in people 50 years and older.
- Healthy adults 50 years and older should get two doses Shingrix separated by two to six months.
- You should still get the immunization if you’ve had shingles, are unsure if you’ve had chickenpox or if you’ve received the Zostavax immunization.
- Shingrix can also prevent future occurrences of shingles if you’ve had it in the past.
- Call MCPH at 248-6900 to make an appointment to receive you Shingrix immunization and to talk about insurance coverage and/or payment options.