Press Release

Local hospitals, health department urging flu shots and COVID-19 boosters

December 08, 2022

Franciscan Health and Indiana University Health are seeing an upswing in patients across the board accessing local Emergency departments. As the number of families seeking care for flu and other respiratory viruses continues to rise, hospital administrators, along with the Tippecanoe County Health Department, are encouraging residents to get a flu shot and the COVID-19 booster and to take steps to prevent illness.

“The bottom line is we are seeing record volumes in the Emergency departments,” explained Daniel Wickert, MD, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health. “We have broken capacity records over and over the past several days and it is for a host of reasons.”

With an increased number of patients in the hospitals, Emergency departments and urgent cares, people can expect longer waits to be seen.

“Providers will triage the most serious cases, so please be patient,” shared Dr. Wickert.

Reducing rates of respiratory illness is important to protect vulnerable populations at risk for severe illness, like children and older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone older than six months receive an annual flu vaccine and take steps to prevent infection, such as staying home when sick and washing hands often.

“We have seen rates of respiratory illness, such as the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) spike much higher and much earlier this year, which is putting a strain on local healthcare systems,” explains Chris Mansfield, MD, chief medical officer for IU Health. “Flu vaccines and COVID-19 boosters have been shown to reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death. It is important that everyone who is able to do so gets both vaccinations this year.”

Franciscan Health offers flu shots and COVID-19 boosters

  • Franciscan Health patients should contact their primary care physician to schedule their flu shots and COVID-19 boosters.

IU Health offers flu shots and COVID-19 boosters

  • The IU Health Arnett Retail Pharmacy, located at Entrance 4 of IU Health Arnett Hospital, is providing walk-in flu shots for individuals 12 years of age and older. All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
    • No appointment is necessary at this location.
    • Pharmacy hours are Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 6:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.
  • COVID-19 boosters are available by appointment only at the IU Health Arnett Retail Pharmacy. Register online at ourshot.in.gov or call 211 or 765.448.8900 to schedule an appointment.
  • Contact your personal primary care physician to schedule an appointment at 765.448.8100.

Tippecanoe County Health Department offers Flu shots and COVID-19 boosters

  • Flu shots are available by appointment only, call 765.423.9221.

Tuesday: 9 am – 3:30 pm

Wednesday: 9 am – 3:30 pm

Thursday: 9 am – 3:30 pm

  • COVID-19 boosters are available by appointment, 765.423.9221. Walk-Ins welcome.

Monday: 9 am – 5 pm

Thursday: Noon – 5 pm

Friday: 9 am – 4 pm

Flu shots and COVID-19 boosters are also available at most retail pharmacies. To schedule a vaccination, call 211 or visit ourshot.in.gov. Many sites offer walk-in appointments.

Visitor limitations

Both hospitals are currently limiting the number of visitors, to prevent spreading illness and protect patients and team members.

Take precautions

Influenza and COVID-19 are primarily community-based infections transmitted in households and community settings. The best way to protect children who cannot get vaccinated is for older siblings and adults to get vaccinated.

In addition, wear masks, perform hand hygiene frequently, social distance in a crowd and avoid large gatherings if possible. Wearing masks will help prevent respiratory diseases such as influenza and COVID-19.

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