Local health centers prepare for flu season

Vaccinations will be available this month from pair of clinics



Vaccine prices may be adjusted on an income-based scale at the county health department and no one is turned away.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen reporter

As flu season fast approaches, the Whitman County Health Department and Cougar Health Services are gearing up with flu vaccines.

Mortality attributed to pneumonia and influenza remained above epidemic threshold for 16 consecutive weeks last year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In response to the severity of last year’s flu season, the Whitman County Health Department will be giving adult flu vaccinations by appointment at the Colfax and Pullman offices this month, according to a press release from the department.

“Cost is $25, however, WCHD will charge on a sliding scale based on income and no one will be turned away for inability to pay,” according to the release.

Another option for those seeking to get the flu vaccine is Cougar Health Services, where officials say they hope to be offering the vaccine by the third week of September for those 18 and older.

Cougar Health Services will be providing a flu vaccine clinic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Friday until Oct. 26, once the vaccinations become accessible.

The clinics will be held in the health promotion classroom in the Washington Building where Cougar Health Services is housed.

“WSU students, staff and faculty are welcome to get their flu vaccine at one of these Friday clinics,” said Marsha Turnbull, Cougar Health Services health education administrator.

Most insurances will cover the flu vaccines, but there will be a $30 fee for those without insurance.

Turnbull said this year’s flu vaccine “contains two A strains and two B strains of influenza, protecting one from several different flu viruses.” Last year alone, Turnbull said, approximately 1,800 people received flu vaccinations.

“Not only is one protecting themselves, but others who have weakened immune systems or can’t receive the vaccine due to age restrictions or medical reasons,” Turnbull said.

Other ways to protect yourself from catching influenza are washing your hands, limiting contact with those that are sick and getting plenty of sleep, she said.

Editor’s note: This story was changed at 5:22 p.m. Monday September 10 to clarify that although Cougar Health Services may offer vaccinations in September, the service may not become available until later in the year.