LDH Hosts Drive-Through Flu Vaccination Clinic in Lake Charles
The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Office of Public Health (OPH) in Southwest Louisiana (Region 5) will be hosting a drive-thru flu vaccination clinic at our Parish Health Unit de Calcasieu (PHU) on October 10 to encourage everyone to catch their shot flu. COVID-19 vaccines, both the primary series and the bivalent COVID-19 booster, as well as the monkeypox vaccine, will also be available.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at PHU Calcasieu, 3236 Kirkman Street, Lake Charles. All vaccines are available free of charge. However, if you have insurance, you will be charged for it. If you have private insurance or Medicaid or Medicare coverage, bring a valid insurance card. All existing COVID-19 vaccine cards will be updated.
Flu Vaccine Advice
The CDC and LDH recommend that everyone 6 months and older get the flu shot by the end of October. Influenza vaccine is especially encouraged in high-risk populations such as pregnant women, children under 5, adults 65 and older, and immunocompromised children and adults with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma.
Advice on the COVID-19 vaccine
The CDC and LDH also recommend that anyone 6 months and older get the COVID-19 vaccine and that anyone 5 and older get a booster as soon as they are eligible. The new bivalent booster is available and currently recommended for anyone 12 years and older who has already had their primary series and is at least 2 months away from their last dose.
Monkeypox Vaccine Eligibility
As of August 31, 2022, the expanded criteria for vaccination include people in Louisiana who meet one of the following conditions:
- Gay/bisexual men or transgender people who are sexually active with more than one partner
- Anyone at high risk of exposure to monkeypox. This includes, but is not limited to, people who:
- Are HIV positive or are receiving medication to prevent HIV infection (PrEP)
- Using IV Medications
- Giving or receiving money or other goods in exchange for sex
- Having significant skin-to-skin contact with others in a social or sexual place
- Working in establishments where sexual or intimate activities take place (e.g. bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs, hotels)
- Clinicians or laboratory personnel at high risk of occupational exposure
- Anyone who has been deemed high risk by a health care provider or public health official
Although not new, monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness caused by a virus not commonly found in the United States, which is spread through close physical contact. The disease can make you sick, including a possibly painful rash, which may look like bumps on the skin, blisters or ulcers. Some people have a flu-like illness before developing a rash.
According to the CDC, early data suggests that gay, bisexual, gay men and other men who have sex with men account for a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close, personal contact with someone with monkeypox can become infected, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Advice on monkeypox
If you test positive for monkeypox, stay in isolation until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a new layer of intact skin has formed.