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Cleveland Clinic offering appointment-only flu shots across Northeast Ohio

Experts encourage vaccination as the best way to protect against the virus.

CLEVELAND — As flu season approaches, top health experts are encouraging folks to get a flu shot.

But, if you'd prefer to get that shot privately, the Cleveland Clinic may have a solution: It's offering appointment-only flu vaccinations at different locations across Northeast Ohio starting Sept. 5.

The Cleveland Clinic says patients can now schedule their flu clinic appointment by phone or online via MyChart. Patients can also get the flu vaccine at most scheduled in-person office visits, or call their primary doctor to schedule a flu shot appointment with a nurse, a news release said.

“Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection that leads to thousands of hospitalizations every year. It can result in severe illness and should not be taken lightly,” said Steven Gordon, M.D., chair of the Department of Infectious Disease at Cleveland Clinic. “Annual vaccination is the most effective method to prevent the spread of influenza and is the best way to keep ourselves and our communities healthy during respiratory virus season.”

With the start of school, hospitals are preparing for an influx of flu, COVID-19 and RSV this fall. That's why, according to the Cleveland Clinic, it's important to stay vaccinated against all three illnesses.

In addition to the flu shot, Cleveland Clinic plans to offer the new RSV vaccine for adults over 60, the news release said. COVID-19 vaccines are also available to patients at most scheduled primary and specialty appointments. 

Most flu seasons arrive between October and May and peek between December and February. The sickness can cause serious respiratory infection, but the most common symptoms include fever, dry cough, headache, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite.

"Annual flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone six months and older, but they're particularly important for those who are at a higher risk of severe complications. These groups include young children, adults aged 65 and older, pregnant women, individuals with chronic medical conditions and those with compromised immune systems. By getting vaccinated, individuals not only protect themselves but also contribute to community immunity, reducing the overall impact of the flu season," the news release said.

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