AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Board of Health is trying to get ahead of this year’s cold and flu season.
Monday is the first day of fall and soon the weather will start turning colder again. That also means cold and flu season isn’t too far away.
“The flu vaccine changes every year and it’s based on the guess of the manufacturer of what vaccines will be circulating that year,” said Director of Nursing Erica Horner.
The board of health said the flu shot is an important part of staying well throughout the upcoming cold and flu season.
“If you do get the illness and if you receive the flu shot, it can lessen the disease,” Horner said. “It can also help you not get the disease or the flu each year.”
The board of health wants to assure the public you can’t get the flu from the vaccine but you do need to get it soon so it can be effective for the worst part of the season.
“They are not live-virus vaccines,” Horner said. “You cannot catch the flu from the flu vaccine. It takes about two weeks to build up effectiveness of the vaccine in your system.”
There will be clinics all over Mahoning County during the month of October and for most, the shots will be free if you have insurance.
“They can come to any of our clinics,” Horner said. “Just come in with your driver’s license or an ID, their insurance card, Medicaid, Medicare. We accept a lot of private insurance companies.”
You don’t need to be a resident of Mahoning County to get a flu shot at one of its clinics.
The board of health recommends everyone 6 months old and up should get a flu shot every year, especially young children, pregnant women and the elderly.