ProHealth Care is preparing for the flu and pneumonia seasons by providing walk-in vaccinations at select ProHealth Care locations beginning Oct. 2. The days and hours for these seasonal immunization clinics can be found at ProHealthCare.org/Flu.
“Annual vaccination is the best way to protect against influenza,” said Steve Kulick, MD, chief medical officer for ProHealth Care. “Vaccination for the flu is needed every year because the body’s immune response from the vaccination declines over time and the vaccine formula is updated each year.”
Fall is the best time to be immunized because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and provide protection against influenza.
“Vaccination lowers the risk of contracting the flu and spreading it to others,” Dr. Kulick said. “When more people get vaccinated, less flu can spread through the community. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.”
ProHealth Care is offering two vaccination options this year to protect against influenza – a vaccine that covers four strains of the flu (called a quadrivalant vaccine) and a high-dose vaccine.
The four-strain vaccine is designed for those ages 6 months and older. The cost is $35, and it is covered by most insurance plans.
High-dose flu vaccine can be given to those who are at least 65 years old. The higher dose stimulates a better immune response against the flu in older people, who may have weaker immune systems. The cost to receive the high-dose flu vaccine at a ProHealth immunization clinic is $65.
Neither of the vaccines contains thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative. While there is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in some vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site, vaccine manufacturers have reduced or eliminated its use as a precautionary measure.
For the pneumonia vaccine, there are two options as well. Multiple factors determine which option is given, and the cost varies depending upon which vaccine is provided. Vaccination against pneumonia is generally recommended beginning at age 65.
ProHealth Care’s walk-in vaccination clinics for the flu and pneumonia will be held in Mukwonago, New Berlin, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Watertown and Waukesha. Visit ProHealthCare.org/Flu to see the full schedule of days and hours for each of the immunization clinic locations.
Payment must be made at the time of vaccination to receive special seasonal pricing. Cash, checks and credit cards payments are accepted. Your insurance company can be billed for an additional administrative fee.
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For more than a century, ProHealth Care has been the health care leader in Waukesha County and surrounding areas, providing outstanding care across a full spectrum of services. The people of ProHealth Care strive to continuously improve the health and well-being of the community by combining skill, compassion and innovation. The ProHealth family includes ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Rehabilitation Hospital of Wisconsin, ProHealth Medical Group, the UW Cancer Center at ProHealth Care, Moreland Surgery Center of Wisconsin, ProHealth AngelsGrace Hospice, ProHealth Home Care, ProHealth West Wood Health & Fitness Center and ProHealth Regency Senior Communities. Learn more at ProHealthCare.org.