10012023_Get Immunized Now to Protect Against Illness Later

Public Health News

Winter is coming, and with it, the season of respiratory illness. No one has time to get sick, so protect yourself the best you can, by getting vaccinated

against flu and COVID-19 viruses. Using the website is a good way to find flu and COVID-19 vaccines at a location near you.

The Flu Vaccine

Flu viruses are always changing and every year a new flu vaccine is developed to protect against the viruses believed to be found during the upcoming season.

What you need to know:
• Although you may experience flu-like symptoms after a flu shot, these side effects are temporary and far less severe than getting the flu

• CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every flu season - ideally by the end of October before the flu is spreading widely. You can get the flu shot at the same time as other vaccines.

COVID-19 Updates

After three years of responding to the pandemic, COVID-19 is still present. This is what your family needs to know about COVID-19:

Vaccines are Here to Stay: Like the flu vaccine, the new COVID-19 immunization will be adapted to the most current strains impacting people this year. COVID-19 vaccines will still be covered for most people through their health insurance plans or through vaccine assistance programs.

At-Home COVID-19 Tests: Beginning September 25, all US households can order four free tests through Similar to the vaccines, the tests have been upgraded to detect currently circulating COVID-19 variants. To find free COVID-19 tests locally, call your pharmacy or use the CDC website Insurance may not cover the cost of the test without a prescription from a provider.

Treatments are Available: If you are sick with COVID-19, there are free medicines to help you get better, like Paxlovid. Make sure to talk to your provider to know your options. The medications will remain free while supplies last.

COVID-19 Data: Data for COVID-19 is now reported like other respiratory viruses and is included in the weekly Iowa Flu Report. This report does not show information for each county but will give a good picture for the regions of Iowa. (note: Black Hawk County is region 6) Links lo the weekly Iowa Flu Report and the

full document outlining the current COVID-19 response, can be found on the Black Hawk County Public Health website:

This fall, make sure you add COVID-19 and flu vaccines to your family's routine immunization schedule. If you have questions, ask your provider or contact Black

Hawk County Public Health at (319) 291-2413.