PARKERSBURG - The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department is offering flu shots and walk-in clinics for flu shots.
Local health department officials said earlier after sparse participation last year, they did not plan to offer free school onsite flu clinics this year, but the health department will offer a flu shot clinic for Wood County Schools personnel, staff, teachers.
There will also be an open clinic from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Oct. 3 at Parkersburg City Park Pavilion. This clinic is open anyone. Charge for the shots is $20. Another clinic is scheduled for Oct. 23 at the Women's Club in Williamstown City Park, from 1-3 p.m.
"We can bill Medicare, Medicaid, Healthplan, Carelink, Unicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Public Employee Insurance Agency. We also have all our businesses scheduled along with the walk-ins which are posted on the department's website," said Renee Swisher, clinical services secretary at the health department.
"We started Sept. 1 with the flu shots. The offices outside Wood County are a little different, but they are all posted on the website for September and October," she said.
Swisher said the department will also offer flu shots at area highrises and senior citizen centers.
"Any business than has ten or more employees we would be happy to come in and give flu shots they just need to call the department," Swisher said.
Call the department for times or to check on flu shot clinics at the health department's website www.movhd.com, or call the Wood County office at 211 Sixth St. in Parkersburg at 304-485-7374. The flu shots are available to anyone over six months of age.
While it's difficult to predict flu seasons, local health officials said a second mild season is unlikely. The flu season of 2011-2012 was one of the mildest on record. Health department Director Dick Wittberg said earlier as a result of the mild season, and low turnout for shots, it was difficult to judge the effectiveness of the immunization campaign in preventing flu in the schools last year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, during the 35-year period, flu activity most often peaked in February (16 seasons, or 46 percent of the time), followed by January (7 seasons or 20 percent of the time) and March and December (which each peaked during 4 seasons, or 11 percent of the time).
The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine annually along with those at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu. This group includes those who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease; pregnant women, people 65 years and older, and people who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications.
For more information on flu shots at regional Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department offices:
Wirt County, 304-275-3131
Roane County, 304-927-1480
Ritchie County, 304-643-2917
Pleasants County: 304-684-2461
Calhoun County: 304-354-6101