Local health officials are urging people who haven't received a - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Local health officials are urging people who haven't received a flu shot to roll up their sleeve

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Public health officials are urging people who haven't rolled up their sleeve for a flu shot this year to waste no more time.  

"It does an absolutely superb job protecting for the flu," said Dr. John Venglarcik the medical director at the Mahoning County District Board of Health.

Each year, thousands of people choose not to vaccinate themselves against the flu.  Some people just hate needles, others, Dr. John Venglarcik says just don't believe the vaccine works or is necessary since they've already been sick.

"The thing people need to remember is even in the instances when it doesn't prevent the infection it seriously, seriously decreases the severity of the illness," said Dr. Venglarcik.

The flu, which is a respiratory illness, has proven to be more prevalent this year than in years past.  The season is expected to peak in just five weeks. Because it takes about 2 weeks for the vaccine to fully kick in, Dr. Venglarcik says now is the time to get it if you want to reduce your chances of coming down with the flu in February.  He says the flu strains in the vaccine appear to match the most common strains that are circulating this year and besides an occasional reaction to the vaccine, the majority of people aren't bothered by it.

"It is an extrordinarily safe vaccine and it works very well," said Dr. Venglarcik.

The District Board of Health will offer a flu shot clinic on Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm at 50 Westchester Drive in Youngstown.  The cost for the flu vaccine is $25.00 for adults and $14.65 for children.  High dose flu is also available for those 65 years and older.  No appointment is necessary.  Most private insurances can be billed.  Persons on traditional Medicare must bring their Medicare card so the cost of the shot can be billed.  Persons on Medicaid need to bring their Medicaid card.

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