Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department Offering Walk-in Flu Clinics at Both Locations
FRANKLIN & WILLIAMSON COUNTIES, IL—Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department still has a supply of flu vaccine available at both the Marion and Benton office locations. As a result, both Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department locations will be offering walk-in flu clinics EVERY Wednesday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-3:30 p.m. as long as vaccine is available. No appointment is needed. The Franklin County office is located at 403 East Park, Benton and the Williamson County office is located at 8160 Express Drive, Marion. For those with limited mobility, curb service will be available.
The fee for the influenza vaccine is $30.00 and pneumonia vaccine is $60.00. We also have flu vaccine available through the Vaccine For Children Program (VFC). To be eligible for this program, the child has to be between the ages of 6 months old – 18 years of age and fall into any of the following categories: be a Medicaid recipient, has no insurance, or is Alaskan Native. The cost for the VFC is $13.00 or the Illinois Public Aid medical card will cover the cost. Bi-County Health accepts the Illinois Public Aid medical card, cash, check, and credit/debit cards (MasterCard, VISA, Discover) for services.
Influenza, also called the flu, is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract and spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Flu symptoms include fever (usually 100 degrees F in adults and often higher in children), dry cough, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. After infection, symptoms usually appear within one to four days. The infection is considered contagious for up to five days after symptoms appear and illness usually lingers for a week or two.
For those individuals who will not be able to receive the vaccine this year and for the population as a whole, there are steps that can be taken to reduce transmission of flu:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for approximately 20 seconds. Teach children the same healthy habit.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze, preferably with a tissue or your arm, not your hands. Promptly discard the tissue.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick.
- If you are sick with cough or fever, stay home from work or school until you recover.
- Contact your doctor if you are experiencing severe symptoms that you believe require medical attention.
- Do not share things that go into the mouth, such as drinking cups, straws, etc.
- Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces (door knobs, refrigerator handle, phone, water faucets) if someone in your house has a cold or the flu.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
Pneumonia vaccine will be available at either clinic and is available year round at either health department office during regular office hours by appointment. Recommendations state that the pneumonia vaccine offers lifetime protection. For individuals whose physician recommends another shot, Bi-County Health requires a doctor’s order. Pneumonia vaccine is recommended for anyone over age 65 or those individuals who have chronic respiratory diseases. For more information about the flu or pneumonia vaccine or cost, please contact Bi-County Health at (618) 439-0951 or (618) 993-8111. Information about Bi-County Health flu clinic hours can also be found at www.bicountyhealth.org. Please feel free to follow Bi-County on Twitter as well. The health department uses this service to notify the public by e-mail and/or text about office closures, upcoming clinics, and special events. Bi-County Health’s Twitter feed is fwbicohealth.