Flu season is coming; here's how to get your flu shot in Story County

Isabella Rosario
Ames Tribune

Story County Medical Clinics have received a supply of the annual seasonal flu vaccine and are now encouraging people to get their flu shot, according to a news release.

The clinics are located at 640 South 19th St., Ste. 100 in Nevada and 403 First St. in Maxwell.

“Getting the flu vaccine is simple, and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from the flu," Dr. Audra Poterucha of the Nevada clinic said in the news release.

Here's what you need to know about why you should get a flu shot this year, how the flu shot interacts with the COVID-19 vaccine and where to find a flu shot near you:

Related, last week: 143 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths reported in Story County

Who should get a flu shot?

Everyone ages 6 months or older should receive an influenza vaccine each year, with rare exceptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Visit CDC.gov/flu/prevent/flushot to learn more about the different flu vaccines approved for different age groups, and special considerations for people with severe allergies or a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Influenza activity often begins to increase in October, although the timing and duration of each flu season varies. Regardless, Story County Medical encourages residents to get the shot as soon as possible, especially if they are high-risk. Flu activity tends to peak between December and February, and can last as late as May.

People at higher risk for flu complications include adults ages 65 and older, children younger than two years old, pregnant people and people with certain medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes or heart disease, according to the CDC.

More: Ames schools await approval to distribute at-home COVID-19 tests for students and families

No need to wait between COVID vaccine, flu shot

It is safe to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, experts say. The CDC previously recommended spacing out the timing of the COVID-19 vaccine and other immunizations.

People receiving a booster dose or an additional dose of the vaccine can also get their flu shot at the same time.

The 2020 flu season was the mildest on record. But as students return to in-person learning and fewer people adhere to pandemic mitigation measures, the threat of the flu and COVID-19 may be more serious this year, health experts say.

Experts renew warnings of 'twindemic' as U.S. enters flu season amid rising COVID-19 cases:'We face the same threat this year'

Schedule an appointment or visit a walk-in clinic with Story County Medical to get the flu shot

Story Medical Clinic - Nevada

Located at 640 South 19th St., Ste. 100, appointments are available Monday through Saturday. To schedule an appointment, call 515-382-5413. Starting in October, visit the walk-in clinic from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 8-11 a.m. on Saturdays to get the flu shot without an appointment.

Story Medical Clinic - Maxwell

Located at 403 First St., appointments are available Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment, call 515-387-8815. The Maxwell clinic has not announced plans to offer flu shots on a walk-in basis.

Other locations offering flu shots in Story County:

Walgreens

Located at 2719 Grand Ave., in Ames, Walgreens is offering flu shots to anyone ages 3 and older. Walk-in appointments are welcome, according to the company's website. Schedule an appointment at Walgreens.com, through the mobile app or by calling the local pharmacy at 515-232-8284. The flu shot is free with most insurance, Walgreens' website says.

CVS

With locations at 2420 Lincoln Way and 320 S. Duff Ave. in Ames, CVS pharmacies are also offering flu shots to anyone ages 3 and older. Walk-in appointments are welcome, according to the company's website. Schedule an appointment at CVS.com. The flu shot may be free with insurance or Medicare Part B, and there is no copayment unless required by a patient's health care plan. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted for flu shot costs.

Isabella Rosario is a public safety reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached by email at irosario@gannett.com or on Twitter at @irosarioc.