As flu season approaches, Cleveland Clinic is offering appointment-only community flu vaccination clinics at numerous locations across Northeast Ohio.
Patients can schedule an appointment at one of our clinics by phone or via MyChart. Patients can also receive the flu vaccine at most scheduled in-person office visits with a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. In addition, patients can call their primary care physician’s office to schedule a flu vaccination appointment. More information on how to receive your flu vaccination can be found at: www.clevelandclinic.org/flu.
“Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can cause mild to severe illness,” said Steven Gordon, M.D., chair of the Department of Infectious Disease at Cleveland Clinic. “Like COVID-19, the best way to prevent the spread of influenza is by getting vaccinated. “Getting vaccinated and taking simple preventive measures will help keep ourselves, our loved ones and our communities safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and we enter flu season.”
Our experts agree that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s even more important to receive the flu vaccine to reduce your risk of the flu and to avoid a surge in hospitalizations. Precautions have been put into place to ensure the safety of patients and caregivers as these vaccinations are provided to patients. Safety measures include distanced furniture in common areas, appropriate personal protective equipment for caregivers, frequent disinfecting, and screening patients for COVID-19. More information about Cleveland Clinic’s commitment to safety can be found here.
Infectious disease experts recommend everyone six months and older get vaccinated every year. The flu is contagious and can cause serious respiratory infection. The timing of seasonal flu activity is unpredictable and can vary, but most typically occurs between October and May. After vaccination, it can take two to four weeks for the antibodies that protect against the influenza virus infection to develop in the body.
Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu complications, such as adults age 65 and older, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, and children younger than age five. Yearly vaccination provides the best protection against flu throughout the season.
The 2020-2021 flu season was mild due to protection measures taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is predicting an increase in flu cases this upcoming season as many public health measures have been relaxed.
The same precautions that protect against COVID-19 also will help protect from the flu – proper hand hygiene, social distancing, staying home when sick and wearing masks. In addition, there are prescription antiviral medications that can be used to treat influenza illness.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, dry cough, headache, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite.