Washtenaw County Health Department, partners to offer free flu vaccination events

Events happening in Whitmore Lake, Ypsilanti

We don’t currently have a vaccine for COVID-19 — but we do for flu. (Cleveland Clinic News Service)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Washtenaw County Health Department will be offering no-cost flu vaccines at two upcoming events in Whitmore Lake and Ypsilanti.

The events are offered in collaboration with community partners throughout the county. According to the Health Department, everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine, especially this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the times and locations for the upcoming free vaccination events:

Saturday, Oct 31 - Whitmore Lake

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents 6 months and older can receive a vaccine via drive-thru at the former Whitmore Lake Middle School at 8877 Main Street.

Monday, Nov. 2 - Ypsilanti

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., residents 6 months and older can receive a vaccine via drive-thru at the Washtenaw County Health Department Parking Lost at 555 Towner Street.

Flu vaccinations prevent serious illness, related hospitalizations and in the most severe cases deaths. Getting a flu vaccine can also reduce the risk of becoming infected with both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time.

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“It is especially important for everyone eligible to get their flu vaccine this year,” Juan Luis Marquez, MD, MPH, medical director at the Health Department said in a statement. “The flu vaccine is safe, effective at preventing serious illness and death, and more easily accessible to everyone this year.”

To see the complete list of flu vaccine events being offered by the Health Department, visit washtenaw.org/flushots.

Residents with medical insurance are urged to either visit a pharmacy or their health care provider to receive flu vaccines. The Health Department aims to prioritize those community members without insurance with the free vaccine program.

Those attending the events do not need to pre-register. Bring any form of identification that states a name and birthdate when you arrive for vaccinations.

If you do have insurance, you are asked to bring your insurance card so that the company may be billed when possible. The Health Department will also check for Vaccines for Children eligibility. Each vaccine protects against four flu strains. Expect injectables shots and nasal mist to be available. The Health Department will not have high-dose vaccines.

Here’s some more information from the Washtenaw County Health Department about the flu:

Why Get Vaccinated?

Flu vaccination is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccination can protect against severe cases of illness, hospitalization, and death due to flu, as well as reduce the spread of illness. Getting vaccinated also protects the people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, pregnant people, and people with certain chronic health conditions. Good handwashing, covering your cough, and staying away from others when sick also prevents the spread of flu and other contagious diseases.

In addition to vaccination, it is important to stay home if you are sick, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, wash your hands often using soap and warm water, and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

See washtenaw.org/flu for ongoing information and surveillance on this year’s flu season.

Where Else to Get Vaccinated

Flu vaccine is widely available at area medical offices, pharmacies, and community events. Most people with insurance can get flu shots at their doctors' offices or pharmacies for free. See vaccinefinder.org for local options and call before visiting.

About Flu

Flu is a contagious illness that can be spread person to person through droplets when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks. Symptoms of the flu include coughing, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, sore throat, headache, fatigue, fever, and/or chills. The flu can affect anyone, but older adults, children and individuals with chronic health conditions are at greater risk for severe complications from flu.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.