The Centers for Disease Control reports that significant increases in flu activity in the U.S. in the last two weeks indicate that an early flu season is under way.
And what better time to get immunized than during National Influenza Vaccination Week, which runs through Saturday, Dec. 8, to highlight the importance of ongoing vaccination.The CDC urges people to get a flu vaccine if they have not done so already this season (see list of local clinics below).
The Allegheny County Health Department offers some tips on ways to fight the flu:
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Avoid people who are sick. Stay home from work and school when you’re sick.
- Keep your distance from others when you’re sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw it away immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth after touching any objects or surfaces that might be contaminated.
For more information from the county health department on who is at risk for getting the flu and what to do if you get sick, click here.
The following is a list of immunization clinics in the Plum-Oakmont area. Call ahead to confirm the vaccine is in stock.
Bill's Hometown Pharmacy—The local pharmacy on Unity Center Road in Plum is offering free flu shots for Medicare patients, and those on Medicare Advantage and Gateway Medical plans. The cost is $25 for everyone else, and no appointment is necessary.
Walgreens—Appointments are needed for flu shots. Here are the closest locations:
- 324 Hulton Road in Oakmont
- 108 Greensburg Road in Lower Burrell
- 6201 Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills
- 245 Leechburg Road in New Kensington
Rite Aid—The pharmacy is offering flu shots through Dec. 15. The cost is $24.99, and no appointment is needed. Here are some close locations:
- 109 Allegheny River Boulevard in Oakmont
- 6200 Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills
- 7245 Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills
- 10740 Frankstown Road in Penn Hills
CVS Pharmacies—Appointments must be scheduled in advance. Here are the closest locations:
- 95 Freeport St. in New Kensington
- 3893 William Penn Highway in Monroeville
- 10600 Frankstown Road in Penn Hills
Allegheny County Health Department Walk-in Clinic, 3441 Forbes Ave. in Oakland, second floor: No appointment necessary. Hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1 to 8 p.m. The clinic provides flu shots as a covered benefit to people with Medicare Part B who are not in an HMO and may get vaccine from any Medicare-approved provider. The charge is $25 for others, including Medicare Part B subscribers in an HMO who are restricted to getting flu shots as a covered benefit only from their primary care provider.