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Double dose of protection

Webster County Public Health promotes flu, COVID vaccinations

This graph shows the percentage of positive tests by age group during the past seven days in Webster County.
Source: State coronavirus website

Immunization is our best defense against many diseases, and as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and we enter into influenza season, getting the flu vaccine should be at the top of your family’s to-do list.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that both COVID-19 and influenza will continue to be widespread this winter season. In fact, Webster County is already seeing many cases of both influenza A and influenza B strains, thus medical experts say that it is imperative that residents receive the flu shot this fall.

“The flu vaccine is more important than ever this year to reduce your risk of influenza and to conserve much needed health care resources,” said Kari Prescott, director of the Webster County Health Department.

Webster County Health Department will be hosting a drive-thru flu shot clinic from 8:30 to11 a.m. this Saturday at its downtown office, 723 First Ave S, Fort Dodge. WCHD can bill for most insurances.

Moderna third doses will also be available at the clinic for the immune compromised only. If you believe you qualify, please call WCHD to schedule a third dose at the drive-thru or schedule online at WebsterCountyIA.gov. Please note that third doses and boosters are not the same thing.

Influenza activity typically begins to increase in October and peaks between December and February, thus the CDC advises receiving the flu vaccine between September and October. Webster County also continues to have an increasing number of COVID-19 positive residents and hospitalizations, thus influenza vaccines are encouraged in order to keep residents from being hospitalized with other respiratory illnesses.

Receiving the flu vaccine can help keep you from getting sick with the flu, reduce the severity and length of your illness if you do get sick, and reduce your risk for a flu-associated hospitalization. In addition, the vaccine can help protect against exposing your vulnerable family and friends, such as grandparents and infants, to the flu.

Getting sick with influenza can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to COVID-19 which your body may not be able to fight off as easily as it would otherwise.

Getting vaccinated will not only help to keep you healthy, but it will help to conserve health care resources.

COVID-19 vaccines are available at WCHD by appointment.

For more information about the flu vaccine or the COVID-19 vaccine, please call WCHD at 515-573-4107.

Webster County COVID-19 statistics reported

Over the last seven days there have been 168 positive COVID-19 cases reported in Webster County, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

That’s up from the 152 positive cases reported by the state agency in the prior seven day period.

The Department of Public Health reported that in the most recent seven day period, 9 percent of the COVID-19 tests administered were positive.

The department’s statistics show that 27 percent of the most recent cases are in the 30 to 39 age bracket.

People aged 17 and younger account for 20 percent of the new cases.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 6,826 COVID-19 cases in Webster County.

The Department of Public Health reported that there have been 103 deaths in the county due to COVID-19. That is an increase of one death in the last seven days. The number of deaths had remained at 102 for the past several weeks.

Statistics on the state’s coronavirus web site show that 61.1 percent of the county’s residents who are eligible for a vaccine have been vaccinated.

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