ZANESVILLE, Ohio — There are two opportunities in October where people in Muskingum Co. can get a flu vaccination. Those are: at Southtown Gym on October 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on October 26 at the Dresden Fire Dept. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Muskingum Co. Health Department‘s Medical Director, Dr. Jack Butterfield, says about 2,000 doses of the vaccine will be available starting next month.
“We are making the high dose flu vaccine available to people sixty-five and older which is consistent with CDC recommendations. We also are offering the flu vaccine now down to six months of age. In previous years, we went down to three years of age. The vaccine we’re using is approved down to six months.”
Butterfield says the effectiveness rate ranges from 40% to 60%. Last year, he says it was 47%. The year before it was 36%.
“The effectiveness is determined largely by whether or not the experts have guessed properly about what viruses are going to be coming through our area based on what’s happening in other parts of the world. So if they guess correctly, our percentages are higher. If they guess less correctly, our percentages are lower.”
Dr. Butterfield emphasizes that if someone gets the flu shot, they will likely have a lower incidence of symptoms and they will be less severe. Butterfield says anyone who has a prior history of severe reactions to any component of the flu shot should not get a flu shot. He says over 98% of people who have an egg allergy can take the flu shot.