Now that fall has arrived, health officials say it's time to start thinking about flu shots.
"As the weather cools, more people begin to think about it," said Dawn Trujillo, a nurse with Hamilton County Public Health. "We've gotten a few calls about our flu clinics already."
Trujillo said the public health agency has planned a series of flu clinics starting this week that should offer Hamilton County residents some protection from the flu bug later this fall and winter.
"Really, they tell us that the vaccines should protect you for up to a year, so there's no reason to wait this fall to get one," she said.
The first clinic is scheduled for Wednesday and will be a drive-through format at the public health offices, 820 James St. from 4 to 6 p.m. This is the first year the drive-through clinic has been held at the agency's headquarters. Previous clinics were held at the Webster City Fire Station.
"This first clinic should be fun," she said. "We called ahead and warned the Fire Department that they might see some stragglers and to point them our direction."
The convenient drive-through clinic is especially nice for those with mobility or health problems, she said.
Trujillo said she recommends that children also receive flu vaccines. Two special clinics are planned for children 6 months to 18 years. Those clinics are set for Oct. 16 from 4 to 6:45 p.m. and Oct. 24 from 2 to 4:45 p.m. Both of those clinics require appointments by calling 832-9565. Trujillo said an inhaled flu mist vaccine is available for children.
The cost for the shots are $25 for the regular dose and $50 for high dose for those over age 65. Those with Medicare cards are asked to bring the card to the clinic.
The rest of the scheduled clinics are as follows:
Oct. 7 - Williams, 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the fire station; Blairsburg, 10 a.m. to 1045 a.m. at Thrivent Financial Building; Kamrar, 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m., Lions Building; Ellsworth, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m., at the library.
Oct. 8 - Randall, 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., City Hall; Stanhope, 10 to 10:45 a.m., community center; Jewell, 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m., fire station; Stratford, 2 to 2:45 p.m., fire station.
Oct. 17 - Public Health building, 820 James St., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oct. 18 - Windsor Manor, 1 to 2 p.m.
Oct. 20 - Middle School pancake breakfast, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Oct. 23 - Public Health building, 820 James St., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov. 5 - Election Day Luncheon, Asbury Church, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For more information about the flu clinics, contact Hamilton County Public Health at 832-9565.