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January 5 2018

There is still time to protect yourself from the flu this season

It's not too late to get vaccinated against influenza to reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill and spreading influenza to others. Vaccination for the flu is needed every year because the body’s immune response from the vaccination declines over time. 

“After vaccination, it only takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop and provide protection against influenza,” said Steve Kulick, MD, chief medical officer for ProHealth Care.

When more people get vaccinated, less flu can spread. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.

ProHealth Care is providing flu and pneumonia vaccinations on a walk-in basis through February at occupational health clinics located in Mukwonago, New Berlin, Oconomowoc, Watertown and Waukesha. Flu vaccinations are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit ProHealthCare.org/Flu for specific locations and more information.

ProHealth Care is offering two vaccination options to protect against influenza this year – a vaccine that covers four strains of the flu (called a quadrivalant vaccine) and a high-dose vaccine. The four-strain vaccine is for those age 6 months and older. 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.

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 vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site, vaccine manufacturers have reduced or eliminated it in vaccines as a precautionary measure.

There are two pneumonia vaccine options as well. Multiple factors determine which option is given, and price varies depending on which vaccine is provided. Vaccination against pneumonia generally is recommended beginning at age 65.

Preventive vaccination is covered by most insurance plans. Check to make sure ProHealth services are covered by your plan. If required, payment can be made at the time of immunization by cash, check or credit card.

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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.