If you haven’t received your flu shot yet, this is the month to do it, according to the Center for Disease Control. By receiving the immunization in October, your body develops protection before flu outbreaks begin.
Flu shots are now available at Open Door for both patients and non-patients. Flu shot appointments can be scheduled at the Muncie and Anderson locations by calling (765) 286-7000, and walk-ins are welcome at Southway Urgent Care in Muncie and on the Open Door Mobile Unit.
The immunization fee is $30, and for those with insurance, it will be billed. Children covered by Medicaid or who are uninsured qualify for a no-cost flu shot through Open Door’s Vaccines for Children program. The program is available at Muncie primary care and pediatrics locations, Anderson primary care, and the Mobile Unit. Children do not have to be Open Door patients to benefit from this program.
Open Door utilizes a preservative-free, injectable version of the immunization.
Dr. William Ma, a pediatric physician at Open Door, emphasizes that children under age 5 and adults over age 65 are at higher risk of complications from flu, making immunization especially important for those age groups.
“For infants under the age of 6 months, who cannot be immunized, the best prevention is to have adults and children in the family immunized to lessen the risk of exposure for the infant,” Ma says. “Children older than 6 months who have never been immunized for flu need two doses. In subsequent years, they will only need one.”
In addition to getting vaccinated, Ma offers these tips to prevent the spread of germs during flu season:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
- If you experience a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to seek medical care or other necessities. The fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands.