FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The flu vaccine is widely available for people ages 3 and up. Children may need a prescription, but is recommended for most people by medical professionals.
“The flu shot is very effective at preventing the flu. Of course, there are a lot of other illnesses that go around in addition to the flu, especially this time of year. So, it’s not going to be effective for every respiratory virus. But, the flu is a common cause of fever and illness of all ages including children,” said Matt Schafer, a pharmacist from the Walgreens at Wells and West State Boulevard.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports across the country flu activity remains low. Low is the designation Indiana received. That is the second lowest classification, with “minimal” being the lowest level.
The Indiana State Department of Health started monitoring flu activity in the first week of October. As of the last week of October, the percentage of flu cases reported is slightly above 4%, and no deaths have been reported.
In the local 11 county district, less than 1% percent of flu activity has been reported by emergency rooms and urgent care facilities.
To take a closer look at the state’s numbers, you can click here.
Schafer is encouraging you to receive the flu shot to help alleviate any added flu hospitalizations as COVID-19 patients increase.
“It’s definitely not too late to get the flu shot. It does take two weeks to build the immunity. But the good news is that since flu activity is relatively low right now, you still have a good chance of getting that shot and have your body build that immunity in that two week window, and still have protection before it gets too bad,” said Schafer.
Even with flu activity low right now, Schafer said that could easily change.
“There’s really no predicting the flu. That’s one thing we can say every year about it. We don’t necessarily know when it’s really going to hit, when the peak’s going to happen, but we do know every year it comes. So just because we’re in the clear now, doesn’t mean things might not, things could get worse later in the year.”
Walgreens will be hosting in-store clinics. Here is the list:
November 17th – Paulding and Anthony, 2-5 p.m.
November 18th – Coldwater and Dupont, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
November 18th – State and Wells, 2-5 p.m.
November 20th – Creighton and Calhoun, 2-5 p.m.
Click here to learn more about flu shots at Walgreens.