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Last chance to get immunizations at Crow Wing County Public Health before program ends

There is one last chance for immunizations for children or adults who either don’t have insurance or don’t have coverage for vaccinations before Crow Wing County Public Health ends its program.

Crow Wing County Public Health will give any immunizations after April.

Crow Wing County Community Services Health Division, or Public Health, will host one final office immunization clinic, open to all ages — children and adults — Tuesday at the Crow Wing County Health office, 204 Laurel St., Suite 12, Brainerd, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. by appointment only. A second immunization clinic for kindergartners through 12-graders who are uninsured or underinsured is 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again at 3-6 p.m. Thursday at the health office on Laurel Street. This is a walk-in clinic with no appointment needed.

Cost is $5 per shot for children up to age 18 years old and $10 per shot for adults 19 and older, however, no one is denied access due to inability to pay. Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care is accepted as payment. If an individual’s health insurance pays in full for vaccinations, the person must be seen by their home medical clinic.

If a person has a child 18 or younger who is uninsured or insurance does not cover immunizations, the county offers all the recommended vaccines for that age group.

For those are 19 or older and uninsured or with insurance that does not cover immunizations, public health offers: tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis; human papillomavirus/Gardasil; hepatitis B; hepatitis A; varicella (chicken pox); measles, mumps, rubella.

For students, vaccinations are required to attend school. A parent or legal guardian and a complete shot record are required to accompany children ages 18 or younger or shots may not be given.

“If you or your children are in need of immunizations now is the time to get caught up because immunizations will no longer be given at Crow Wing County Public Health after this month,” the county reported.

Shingles vaccine available for 60 and older

For those age 60 and older, the county has Zostavax — the shingles vaccine.

“Almost one out of every three people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. “There are an estimated 1 million cases each year in this country. Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox may develop shingles. ... After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body in a dormant (inactive) state. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles.”

Shingles is a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body. Blisters form with the rash. Symptoms often include pain, itching or tingling where the rash will develop. Other symptoms include fever, headache, chills, upset stomach. Shingles can affect the eye and cause vision loss.

Common complications include severe pain in areas where the rash was even after it clears up. The pain may be severe and debilitating. It can resolve in a few weeks or months or persist for many years.

The CDC reported the older people get the more likely they are to develop complications and have severe pain. People who have already had shingles can still get the vaccine.

“Shingles may lead to serious complications involving the eye. Very rarely, shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death.“

So for senior citizens who have yet to get the vaccine, this may be the opportunity to do so with an affordable $10 shot. The shingles shot is not covered by Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B. Without insurance, seniors getting the shingles vaccine at clinics or drug stores, may be faced with a bill of more than $200.

Those who have suffered through shingles report regretting taking their chances or thinking they could handle a rash when considering the vaccine’s cost. And once stricken, shingles sufferers said they would have been willing to pay hundreds more for relief.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Margie at Crow Wing County Health at 824-1098 or 824-1080.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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