Local groups offering free, low-cost flu shots, other vaccines - Katy Times: Health

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Local groups offering free, low-cost flu shots, other vaccines

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Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 12:00 am

Katy Church

New Hope Presbyterian Church will host a seasonal flu clinic from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 1350 N. Mason Road.

Please note that this vaccine is not for the H1N1 virus. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that seasonal influenza caused 36,000 deaths in the United States every year. The CDC strongly recommends the influenza vaccine to prevent death, severe illness and school and work absences.

Two choices on the flu vaccine will be offered. The flu shot is 80 percent effective and can be received by anyone older than six months of age. Cost is $20.

The flu mist or inhaled nasal spray is almost 100 percent effective and is geared for people between 2 and 49 years old. No needle is used; the vaccine is inhaled. People have to be healthy, without asthma and not pregnant. Cost is $30.

Side effects are rare, brief and mild. However, the vaccine is not recommended for people allergic to egg products or people with fever.

Other vaccines for adults also will be available. The Tdap shot (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) is best taken every five to 10 years. Cost is $30. Also, the pneumonia vaccine for people 50 years and older will be available. Cost is $45.

Medicare is accepted for the flu shot and the pneumonia vaccine.

For more information, call (281) 492-8520.

Harris County Pct. 3

Harris County Pct. 3 Commissioner Steve Radack and the CHRISTUS Visiting Nurse Association are offering seasonal flu vaccines, as well as the pneumonia immunization on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at Mary Jo Peckham Park, 5597 Gardenia in Katy.

Individuals presenting their Medicare Part B card will receive the vaccines free of charge. People without the Medicare Part B card will pay $20 for flu and $50 for pneumonia.

Registration is required by phone by calling 281-391-4482 or in person.

Sugar Land Hospital

Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, in collaboration with Fort Bend and Sugar Land Exchange Club and the Sugar Land Rotary, will provide free flu shots on Saturday, Nov. 14 to community members who participate in Santa’s Gift Exchange.

Fort Bend residents can bring a new, unwrapped toy or clothing item to Methodist Sugar Land Hospital from 8 a.m. to noon in exchange for a flu shot. The toys and clothing will benefit local children in the Fort Bend area.

“We are proud to partner with the local exchange clubs to provide this community offering. This is a great way for the community to stay healthy while also putting smiles on children’s faces during the holiday season,” said Chris Siebenaler, CEO of Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

“Our community is well known for it’s philanthropic values so we encourage you to participate by dropping off toys or clothing even if you have already had your flu shot,” Siebenaler said.

If you would like to participate in this community event, please bring an unwrapped, new toy or clothing item to the main lobby of the new Methodist Sugar Land Hospital between the times of 8 a.m. and noon p.m.

Methodist Sugar Land Hospital will be distributing a limited supply of the seasonal influenza vaccine to persons age 18 and over with no history of egg and/or latex allergy. Those individuals wishing to receive the H1N1 vaccine should contact their primary care physician.

VA Medical Center

The Prime Care Clinics of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is offering free walk-up flu shots for veterans.

This flu shot is for protection against the annual, seasonal flu. It is not the vaccine for the H1N1 (swine) Flu.

Veterans who should seriously consider vaccination are:

•Over 65 years of age;

•Residents of long-term facilities;

•Veterans with long-term health problems of the heart, lungs, asthma, kidneys, or diabetes and other metabolic diseases;

•Veterans with muscle or nerve disorders involving swallowing or breathing;

•Veterans with weakened immune systems; and

•Women veterans who may be pregnant during the flu season.

Veterans can come Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following locations:

•Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, 2002 Holcombe Blvd., Houston;

•Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, 3420 Veterans Circle, Beaumont;

•Conroe VA Outpatient Clinic, 800 Riverwood Court, Suite 100, Conroe;

•Galveston VA Outpatient Clinic, 3828 Avenue N., Galveston; and

•Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic, 2206 North John Redditt Drive, Lufkin.

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