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Home / Twindemic concerns bring flu and COVID-19 clinics to Henry County
Twindemic is a term used to describe the possibility of a severe flu season happening in conjunction with an increase in cases of COVID-19 during the fall and winter of 2021-22.
“Henry County Public Health has been pretty efficient with flu clinics and COVID-19 clinics, so far,” said Shelley Van Dorin, Henry County public health director. “We have clinics set up where someone can get both the COVID-19 shot and flu shot at the same time.”
Getting an influenza (flu) vaccine will be critical this fall and winter, because flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will likely be spreading simultaneously in the United States. An annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older (with a few exceptions).
According to the CDC, a flu vaccine is needed every year for two reasons.
First, a person’s immune protection form vaccination declines over time, so an annual flu vaccine is needed for optimal protection.
Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the composition of flu vaccines is reviewed annually, and vaccines are updated to protect against the viruses that research indicated will be most common during the upcoming flu season.
Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with the flu. It has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization. It is an important tool for people with certain chronic health conditions. Immunization helps protect pregnant people during and after pregnancy.
It can be lifesaving in children. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you. Iowans did their part last year, during the 2020-21 season, 56.9% of Iowans were vaccinated against the flu.
Locally, flu shots are being offered at the regular immunization clinics at the Henry County Health Care Clinic at 407 S White Street in Mt. Pleasant on Tuesdays 9-11 a.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays 1-4 p.m. In addition to Thursday, Dec. 2 and Thursday, Dec. 16 from 1-6 p.m.
No appointment is necessary, you can go to website www.healthyhenrycounty.org/immunizations/ to check-in online.
COVID-19 shots are available by appointment only on Friday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-noon at the Mt. Pleasant First Presbyterian Church; Monday, Dec. 6, 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church; Friday Dec. 10, from 9 a.m.-noon at the First Presbyterian Church; Tuesday, Dec. 14, 3:30-6 p.m. at the New London Community Center; Wednesday, Dec. 29, 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Contact the Henry County Health Care Office at 319-385-0779 for an appointment.
Walk-ins for COVID-19 and flu immunizations will be accepted at the Henry County Public Health Clinic on Thursday, Dec. 16, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 23, 9 a.m.-noon; and Thursday, Dec. 30, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Both COVID-19 shots and flu immunizations are available at these times.
Flu shots are not being offered at the off-site locations for COVID-19 shots, they are only being offered at the clinic.
“It is recommended that those getting booster shots at the clinics bring their existing COVID-19 shot record card with them,” said Van Dorin. “It is best that they bring the card so that we can add another sticker to it.”
Children are now approved for the pediatric Pfizer vaccine. Children ages 5-11 are eligible for the pediatric dose, and children ages 12-18 are eligible for a Pfizer, Moderna and J&J Jassen shot.
Children can still be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and can get very sick, they may also experience both short and long term health complications from COVID-19 and can easily spread COVID-19 to others. All children need a second shot three weeks after the first dose is issued.
“We are encouraging everyone to get the COVID-19 shot and the flu shot, it is the best defense that we have against the pandemic and this year’s flu season. And remember, please stay home if you are sick, we cannot stress that enough,” said Van Dorin.