With flu season approaching, Cleveland Clinic is offering appointment-only flu vaccinations at locations across Northeast Ohio starting Sept. 5. Additional information can be found at www.clevelandclinic.org/flu
Patients can schedule a flu clinic appointment by phone or online via MyChart now. 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 with a nurse.
“Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection that leads to thousands of hospitalizations every year. It can result in severe illness and should not be taken lightly,” said Steven Gordon, M.D., chair of the Department of Infectious Disease at Cleveland Clinic. “Annual vaccination is the most effective method to prevent the spread of influenza and is the best way to keep ourselves and our communities healthy during respiratory virus season.”
Hospitals are preparing for an influx of flu, COVID-19 and RSV as the fall respiratory virus season begins. With the potential for these three viruses circulating at the same time, it is important to receive vaccinations to reduce your risk of infection.
Later this fall, Cleveland Clinic plans to offer the new RSV vaccine for adults aged 60 years and older. Patients should discuss with their doctor if they should receive the vaccine. Patients can also still get vaccinated for COVID-19 at many scheduled primary care and specialty appointments. A newly updated COVID-19 booster is anticipated to be available this fall.
Annual flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone six months and older, but they’re particularly important for those who are at a higher risk of severe complications. These groups include young children, adults aged 65 and older, pregnant women, individuals with chronic medical conditions and those with compromised immune systems. By getting vaccinated, individuals not only protect themselves but also contribute to community immunity, reducing the overall impact of the flu season.
In addition to vaccination, preventive measures like wearing masks, practicing good hand hygiene, social distancing and staying home when sick can further help reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses.
The flu is contagious and can cause serious respiratory infection. The timing of seasonal flu activity can vary, but most typically occurs between October and May, and usually peaks between December and February. Vaccination and preventive measures can help alleviate hospitalizations during peak flu and respiratory virus season.
Common symptoms of the flu include fever, dry cough, headache, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite.