Swine Flu Shots Available To All

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

If you've been waiting for the chance to protect yourself from the swine flu, Monday is your day.

"Everybody across the state of Michigan, all the local health departments are now making the H1N1 vaccine available to everyone," says Marcus Cheatham of the Ingham County Health Department.

Cheatham says it's not just high-risk groups anymore; everyone is now eligible to get a free swine flu shot. Ingham County actually began doling out the doses last week and the response has been overwhelming.

"It seems like people are coming to get the vaccine. Our last two clinics had in the vicinity of 800 people in each one," Cheatham says.

There's also a strong turnout at the daily walk-in clinic at the health department, where we meet East Lansing's Steve Thomas. As a mental health worker, he's not just getting vaccinated for his own well-being.

"A lot of folks we see on a daily basis are challenged. I don't want to get the flu and give it to them," Thomas says.

Cheatham says even though there's a lull in the virus right now, all adults should get the shot or nose spray.

"We'd like to get 100,000 people in Ingham County vaccinated. That's about half the population," he says.

You can get a free vaccine at your health department, but if you want one from your doctor's office, Cheatham recommends calling first to see about prices-- and availability. Or, there's one more option.

"Some really good news is in the next couple of weeks, pharmacies will be offering the flu shot," Cheatham says. He's not sure which pharmacies will be offering them just yet.

There's a swine flu clinic from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday at the Jackson County Health Department at 1715 Lansing Ave. in Jackson. There's also a clinic 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at Holt High School in Delhi Township.

www.hd.ingham.org for more information.

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