Spectrum Health Offers Flu Vaccine Throughout Community
Mobile Clinics, Urgent Care Centers, Physician Offices Offer Vaccine
Spectrum Health will be offering the flu vaccine in multiple locations in the coming weeks to make it as convenient as possible for area residents.
Starting October 1, more than 200 mobile clinics will be offered by the Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association (VNA). Those needing more flexible hours can visit any of Spectrum Health’s five Urgent Care Centers, which are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Spectrum Heath Primary Care Partners, with 15 locations, will also be offering flu shots to their patients.
“We anticipate another challenging flu season and receiving a flu shot is one of the best steps to take to minimize your risk of getting a bout of the flu,” said Eric Wielhouwer, DO, Rivertown Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. “Fortunately, there are many opportunities for people to be prepared and receive flu shots this year.”
Flu shots are also being recommended more widely this year. A new study published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine confirms the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that pregnant women receive flu shots. The study found that flu shots given to pregnant women at least a month before their due date will prevent most cases of flu for their babies during their first six months of life.
The cost for this year’s flu vaccine is $30 and a pneumonia vaccine is $40. Cash and checks are accepted forms of payment at VNA clinics but credit cards also can be used at all Primary Care Partners locations (spectrum-health.org/pcp) and Urgent Care Centers (spectrum-health.org/urgent). All locations can bill a number of insurance programs. VNA also can provide a flu mist inhaler for $30. Preservative-free flu injections are available through VNA for all ages at all of their locations, but must be scheduled by appointment by calling (616) 486-3050.
For more information, please call (616) 486-3939 or visit the flu vaccine pages on the Spectrum Health web site at spectrum-health.org/flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, flu vaccinations are recommended for the following populations:
- People at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
- Children aged six months up to their nineteenth birthday
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age as these children are too young to be vaccinated
- Health care workers
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through its seven hospitals, more than 140 service sites and Priority Health, a health plan with nearly 500,000 members. Spectrum Health’s 14,000 employees, 1,500 medical staff members and 2,000 volunteers are committed to delivering the highest quality care to those in medical need. The organization provided $111.1 million in community benefit during its 2008 fiscal year. As a system, Spectrum Health has earned more than 100 awards during the past 10 years.