This year's seasonal flu vaccine provides protection against three different strains of influenza virus, including the 2009 H1N1 virus
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The University of Michigan Health System's Michigan Visiting Nurses and health centers will once again offer flu vaccinations, the most reliable way to ward off the flu this season.
A new approach may help keep the H1N1 virus in check. This year's seasonal flu vaccine provides protection against three different strains of influenza virus, including the 2009 H1N1 virus.
A series of convenient walk-in flu shot clinics is planned throughout southeastern Michigan and vaccinations are offered at competitive prices, says Tracy Newhouse, MVN community wellness manager.
U-M Health System patients can begin getting flu shots now by contacting their provider.
"It's important people receive the vaccination even if they're not sick or not afraid they're going to be hospitalized," says Newhouse. "They could pass the flu to more vulnerable people."
For individuals who already see a U-M physician, nurse midwife or other provider, vaccination can be done during existing or new appointments this fall, or at special walk-in clinics for current patients.
Patients should call their U-M provider's office for an appointment, or visit www.med.umich.edu/flu for a schedule of flu shot clinics, says Linda McGrath, UMHS immunization coordinator.
For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that anyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated for the upcoming flu season.
Vaccination is particularly important for high-risk groups, including children, those 65 and older, pregnant women and anyone with an underlying condition that can weaken the immune system. The CDC also recommends that because children younger than 6 months cannot be vaccinated, their caregivers and entire family should receive the shot.
Unlike last year's hysteria when the H1N1 flu strain emerged and forced people back to immunization clinics for a second shot, most people will not need an additional shot this year.
Protection from H1N1 is included in the seasonal flu shot, but children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years might need a second dose depending on their past influenza vaccination history. Parents should check with their provider if their child falls in that age range.
Other good news for this year's flu shot recipients include recent lab tests confirming that recent flu outbreaks were caused by a strain of influenza that's included in this year's vaccine.
In additional to the traditional needle-based vaccine, UMHS offers inhaled FluMist vaccine. New for this year is a vaccine called Fluzone High-Dose for people age 65 and older which will be available at some MVN walk-in clinics and from most UMHS health centers.
At its walk-in clinics, Michigan Visiting Care accepts Blue Care Network, including Premier Care, BCBSM PPO, BCBSM Blue Preferred PPO, BlueCaid, Health Alliance Plan, except HAP Senior Plus, Priority Health PPO and HMO, traditional Medicare, any Medicare Advantage PFFS Plan, BCBSM Medicare Plus Blue PPO and BCN Advantage, all of which cover the entire cost of the flu shot. Other payment options include cash, check and credit card.
The walk-in clinics are open to the public and most clinics are limited to vaccinating those age 9 and older. For an updated listing of flu clinics, call MVN's flu hotline at 734-477-7299, or visit www.umvn.org.
Clinics are scheduled on the following dates:
• Sept. 29, 10 a.m. - noon, Lexington Club Apartments, 2224 Golfside Road, Ypsilanti, age 9
• Oct. 1, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Ypsilanti Township Senior Center, 2025 E. Clark Road, Ypsilanti, age 9
• Oct. 2, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., MedEQUIP, 2705 S. Industrial Highway, Ann Arbor, age 9
• Oct. 3, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Albion, 305 S. Porter St., Albion, age 9
• Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - noon, Adrian Senior Center, 327 Erie St., Adrian, age 18
• Oct. 6, 5 - 6:30 p.m., York Baptist Church, 11220 Stoney Creek Road, Milan, age 9
• Oct. 6, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Pittsfield Township Senior Center, 701 W. Ellsworth Road, Ann Arbor, age 9
• Oct. 6, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Ann Arbor YMCA, 400 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor, age 9
• Oct. 7, 9 - 11:30 a.m., Blissfield Senior Center, 206 South Lane, Blissfield, age 18
• Oct. 8, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Hamburg Senior Center, 10407 Merrill Road, Hamburg, age 18
• Oct. 8, 9 a.m. - noon, Saline Senior Center, 7190 N. Maple Road, Saline, age 9
• Oct. 8, 8 a.m. - noon, Lenawee County Health Department, 1040 S. Winter St., Suite 2328, Adrian, age 18
• Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 417 Charles St., Belleville, age 9
• Oct. 11, 9 - 11 a.m., Onsted Senior Center at American Legion building, 333 Conner St., Onsted, age 9
• Oct. 13, 9 a.m. - noon, Manchester Senior Center at Emanuel Church, 324 W. Main St., Manchester, age 9
• Oct. 13, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Turner Senior Resource Center, 2401 Plymouth Road, Suite C, Ann Arbor, age 18
• Oct. 13, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Ann Arbor City Club, 1830 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, age 18
• Oct. 15, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Howell Senior Center, 925 W. Grand River Ave., Howell, age 18
• Oct. 16 - 17, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Wiard's Orchard Community Awareness Weekend, 5565 Merritt Road, Ypsilanti, age 9
• Oct. 17, 8:30 - 10 a.m., St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - Ann Arbor, 306 N. Division St., Ann Arbor, age 18
• Oct. 17, 9 - 11 a.m., St. Joseph Shrine Family Center Building, 8743 US 12, Brooklyn, age 9
• Oct. 18, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 2 - 5 p.m., Dexter Senior Center, 7720 Ann Arbor St., Dexter, age 9
• Oct. 19, 9 a.m. - noon, Ypsilanti Senior Center, 1015 N. Congress St., Ypsilanti, age 9
• Oct. 19, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church, 1501 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, age 9
• Oct. 21, 9 - 11:30 a.m., Addison Senior Center, 117 N. Steer St., Addison, age 18
• Oct. 21, 9 a.m. - noon, Fowlerville Senior Center, 203 N. Collins St., Fowlerville, age 18
• Oct. 22, noon - 2 p.m., Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, 3941 Research Park Drive, Ann Arbor, age 18
• Oct. 22, 9 a.m. - noon, Northfield Township Senior Center, 9101 Main St., Whitmore Lake, age 9
• Oct. 22, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Putnam Township Senior Center at Township Hall, 3280 W. M-36, Pinckney, age 18
• Oct. 23, 4:30 - 7:30 p.m., St. Andrew's Catholic Church, 910 Austin Drive, Saline, age 9
• Oct. 23, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., MedEQUIP, 2705 S. Industrial Highway, Ann Arbor, age 9
• Oct. 24, 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., St. Andrew's Catholic Church, 910 Austin Drive, Saline, age 9
• Oct. 25, 2 - 6 p.m., St. Francis School and Parish, 2270 E. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, age 18
• Oct. 26, 12:30 - 3 p.m., Jewish Community Center, 2935 Birch Hollow Drive, Ann Arbor, age 9
• Oct. 28, 9 a.m. - noon, Ypsilanti Township Senior Center, 2025 E. Clark Road, Ypsilanti, age 9
• Oct. 30, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., MedEQUIP, 2705 S. Industrial Highway, Ann Arbor, age 9
MVC, part of the University of Michigan Health System, is a nonprofit organization that has served the community since 1909.