When cold weather approaches, flu season is not far behind. ProHealth Care is encouraging Waukesha County residents to get vaccinated against the flu now, to reduce their risk of contracting the illness and spreading it to others.
“When more people get vaccinated, less flu can spread,” said Steve Kulick, MD, chief medical officer for ProHealth Care. “For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.”
Anyone can get influenza. In fact, up to one in five people in the U.S. may get the virus each flu season.
After you are vaccinated, it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop and provide protection against the flu, so area residents are encouraged to get a flu shot now, before the flu arrives.
ProHealth Care is currently providing flu and pneumonia vaccinations on a walk-in basis in ProHealth Medical Group clinics in Mukwonago, New Berlin, Oconomowoc (1185 Corporate Center Drive), Pewaukee, Watertown and Waukesha (20611 Watertown Road). Flu vaccinations are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit ProHealthCare.org/Flu for more information.
Vaccinations also are available from ProHealth primary care providers. Simply call to make an appointment with your provider. If you do not have a primary care provider with ProHealth Medical Group, call ProHealth’s physician referral service at 262-928-2745 to find a doctor near you.
“Vaccination for the flu is needed every year because the body’s immune response from the vaccination declines over time,” Dr. Kulick said. “Because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formula of the flu vaccine is updated each year.”
ProHealth Care offers two vaccination options to protect against influenza this year – a vaccine that covers four strains of the flu (called a quadrivalant vaccine) and a high-dose vaccine. The four-strain vaccine is for those ages 6 months and older. The price is $32. High-dose flu vaccine can be given to those who are at least 65 years old. The higher dose stimulates a better immune response against the flu in individuals who may have weaker immune systems. The price is $55.
Neither the four-strain nor the high-dose vaccine contains thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative. While there is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site, vaccine manufacturers have reduced or eliminated it in vaccines as a precautionary measure.
For pneumonia vaccine, there are two options as well. Multiple factors determine which option is given, and price varies depending on which vaccine is provided. Vaccination against pneumonia generally is recommended beginning at age 65.
Payment must be made at the time of walk-in clinic vaccination to receive special seasonal pricing. Cash, checks and credit card payments are accepted.
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For more than a century, ProHealth Care has been the health care leader in Waukesha County and surrounding areas, providing outstanding care across a full spectrum of services. The people of ProHealth Care strive to continuously improve the health and well-being of the community by combining skill, compassion and innovation. The ProHealth family includes ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Rehabilitation Hospital of Wisconsin, ProHealth Medical Group, the UW Cancer Center at ProHealth Care, Moreland Surgery Center, ProHealth AngelsGrace Hospice, ProHealth Home Care, ProHealth West Wood Health & Fitness Center and ProHealth Regency Senior Communities. Learn more at ProHealthCare.org.