Health Officials Recommend Everyone Receive Influenza Vaccine
Cooler temperatures and changing leaves are not only signs that the seasons are changing, but also a reminder that influenza season is right around the corner. Flu – or as influenza is commonly called – is a respiratory illness with coughing, congestion, fever, aches and pains. The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone over the age of 6 months receive a vaccination against influenza.
“If you get the flu, you can be sick for more than a week and miss a lot of school or work,” said Miki Gould, infection preventionist with ThedaCare. “The flu can also lead to more serious complications, such as pneumonia. Every year, influenza sends people to the hospital and some people unfortunately even die from it.”
Vaccinations not only prevent people from getting sick, but also help stop the spread of the disease and protect people who cannot receive the vaccine, such as newborns, she added. While the CDC recommends everyone be vaccinated against influenza, people over the age of 50, children, people with chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes, pregnant women, healthcare workers, and people who live or work in nursing home facilities are especially encouraged to receive the vaccine because they are most at risk of developing serious complications, Gould said. There’s also a vaccine available for people who are allergic to eggs and may have not been able to receive an influenza shot in the past.
“It’s important to get the vaccination before the main part of the flu season hits – which is usually after Christmas although you can get it at any time. It takes up to two weeks to receive full immunity so I tell people to not wait too long. The earlier you get it, the better,” she said. “Receiving the vaccination is very simple and offers a lot of protection.”
To get their seasonal vaccination, patients can choose to see their ThedaCare Physicians provider, visit a ThedaCare FastCare clinic or attend a ThedaCare At Home flu shot clinic. For patients over the age of 65, a high-dose vaccination, which has more than four times as much antigen as the regular shot, is available. Most insurance providers and Medicare cover flu shots.
The pneumococcal vaccine is also available for adults. People over the age of 65 are encouraged to receive this vaccination, which helps prevent pneumonia. Medicare covers the cost.
ThedaCare Physicians and FastCare
Patients can call their ThedaCare Physician office to schedule an appointment to receive their vaccination. The staff will handle any insurance billing needs and add any shots patients receive into their electronic medical record.
Patients can also walk into one of the three area FastCare Clinics, which are in the Shopko in north Appleton, the Shopko Express in Darboy and next to the emergency department inside Shawano Medical Center, to receive their flu shot. FastCare will handle the insurance billing and if you are a ThedaCare patient, your medical record will be updated. FastCare can only administer flu shots to patients who are 3 years or older.
ThedaCare Physicians and FastCare also offer FluMist, a nasal spray flu vaccine for patients ages 3 to 49. The FluMist may not be appropriate for all patients in that age range depending on some health restrictions.
ThedaCare At Home™ Flu Clinics
People can call the ThedaCare At Home flu clinic hotline at (920) 730-3472 for clinic locations and times. No appointment is needed to attend, but everyone must be 18 years or older. Medicare Part B covers the cost of the flu and pneumonia shots so please bring ALL Medicare and insurance cards with you. All non-Medicare insurance will be handled with only cash and checks. Staff members will also add any shots received in ThedaCare patients’ electronic medical records.
ThedaCare At Home’s clinic times include:
- Fri., Oct. 17 at Dick’s Family Foods, 400 High St., Wrightstown, from 9 a.m. to noon.
- Fri., Oct. 17 at Greenville Town Hall, W6860 Parkview Dr., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sun., Oct. 19 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 312 S. State St., Appleton from, 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
- Mon., Oct. 20 at Thompson Community Center, 820 W. College Ave., Appleton, from 10 a.m. to noon.
- Tues., Oct. 21 at Piggly Wiggly, 1919 N. Shawano St., New London, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Wed., Oct. 22 at the YMCA, 218 E. Lawrence St., Appleton, from 7:30 to 11 a.m.
- Thurs., Oct. 23 at the Waupaca Senior Center, 407 School St., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Fri., Oct. 24 at Kimberly Municipal Complex, 515 W. Kimberly Ave., from 9 a.m. to noon.
- Fri., Oct. 24 at Wolf River Community Bank, 309 E. Main St., Hortonville, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sat., Oct. 25 at ThedaCare At Home, 3000 E. College Ave., Appleton, from 9 to 11 a.m.
- Mon., Oct. 27 at Fox West YMCA, W6931 School Road, Greenville, from 11:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
- Tues., Oct. 28 at Piggly Wiggly, 520 East Northland Ave., Appleton, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Tues., Oct. 28 at Festival Foods, 308 N. Shawano St., New London, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Mon., Nov. 3 at Greenleaf Wayside Bank, 1608 Day St., from 9 a.m. to noon.
- Mon., Nov. 3 at the New London Senior Activity Center, 600 W. Washington St., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sat., Nov. 15 at ThedaCare At Home, 3000 E. College Ave., Appleton, from 9 to 11 a.m.
- Sat., Dec. 13 at ThedaCare At Home, 3000 E. College Ave., Appleton, from 9 to 11 a.m.
People can also call ThedaCare At Home’s Flu Clinic hot line at (920) 730-3472 for information about flu clinics.
ThedaCare Physicians includes more than 120 employed physicians at 22 locations throughout the region and includes specialists in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and general surgery. According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, ThedaCare Physicians is a leader in offering same-day access at many of its locations, including lab results and a plan of care before the patient leaves that appointment. ThedaCare Physicians is also the leader in implementing an electronic medical records system, including a patient portal called MyThedaCare that allows patients to access their medical information, make appointments, refill prescriptions, and consult their physician appointment from their home computer. Two FastCare locations in the Fox Cities serve many immediate needs of patients.
ThedaCare At Home has received numerous recognitions in the past six years as one of the fastest growing and best performing home care agencies in the nation. ThedaCare At Home provides a continuum of home care services, including skilled nursing, home and residential hospice care, respiratory services, infusion therapy, home medical equipment, rehab and mobility, remote monitoring and other specialty services. ThedaCare At Home serves more than 17,000 patients in 10 counties, including Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, Brown, Green Lake, Waushara, Waupaca, Shawano, Menominee, and Oconto counties. There are more than 300 employees, including 150 licensed health care professionals in 15 different specialties. ThedaCare At Home also operates Cherry Meadows Hospice and the ThedaCare Hospice Residence on the Peabody–Heritage campus in Appleton.
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, Berlin Memorial Hospital, and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.