Van Buren/Cass District Health Department offering drive-thru flu vaccine clinics

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — Flu season is almost here, and one local health department is hoping to get its residents ready.

This month, the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department will be hosting drive-thru flu vaccination clinics throughout Cass and Van Buren counties to prepare for the upcoming flu season.

Two of the flu clinics will be hosted in Cass County:

  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 16 — Cass County Council on Aging, 60525 Decatur Road, Cassopolis
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24 — Southwestern Michigan College, 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac

Additional clinics will be hosted in Van Buren County:

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13 — Antwerp Township Hall, 24821 Front Ave., Mattawan
  • 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 20 — Van Buren Cass District Health Department Hartford Office, 57418 County Road 681, Hartford
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27 — Human Services, East Building, 801 Hazen St., Paw Paw
  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 30 — Van Buren Conference Center, 490 S. Paw Paw St., Lawrence

Rather than the health department’s typical yearly flu clinics, this month’s clinics will be hosted outdoors via a drive-up system to comply with social distancing mandates still in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our current drive-thru clinics are open to the public for adults 18 and older,” said Jennifer Zordan, director of emergency services at the health department. “We are offering drive-thru clinics to adhere to social distancing guidelines and to keep our communities safe. We will also be offering flu vaccine during our normal immunizations clinics at our offices that can be found at vbcassdhd.org for children ages 6 months and older as well as adults.”

Generally speaking, there is no out of pocket cost for those with insurance. The drive-thru clinics will charge a fee that varies depending on the vaccine given for those without insurance. Vaccine costs range from approximately $23-$85. The health department will also be offering high-dose flu vaccine for seniors.

As the state of Michigan is encouraging the health department to increase vaccinations by 33 percent, the Van Buren/Cass Health Department will offer free clinics later in the season, November or December. Zordan said October’s clinics are geared toward those who insurance or can pay out of pocket.

“The Centers for Disease Control recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department will offer flu vaccinations throughout the flu season and well into next year,” she said. “Getting a flu vaccine during the 2020-2021 season is more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Flu vaccination is especially important for adults 65 years and older, who account for the most hospitalizations and deaths from flu and from COVID-19. Influenza and COVID-19 have similar symptoms. Getting a flu vaccine can reduce your risk of getting the flu while requiring fewer people to be hospitalized. During the pandemic, it is important to ensure our healthcare systems have adequate resources to care for individuals who require hospitalization.”

 

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