Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention
CDC 24/7 : Saving Lives, Protecting People.

What should I do to protect my loved ones from flu this season?

Encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available in their communities, preferably by October. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for serious flu complications and their close contacts. People at High Risk of Developing Flu–Related Complications

Children between 6 months and 8 years of age may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected from flu. Your child’s doctor or other health care professional can tell you whether your child needs two doses. Visit Children, the Flu, and the Flu Vaccine for more information.

Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months of age, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu. See Advice for Caregivers of Young Children for more information.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you and your loved ones can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.

When should I get vaccinated?

CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against flu soon after vaccine becomes available, preferably by October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.  Doctors and nurses are encouraged to begin vaccinating their patients soon after vaccine becomes available, preferably by October so as not to miss out on opportunities to vaccinate. Those children 6 months through 8 years of age who need two doses of vaccine should receive the first dose as soon as possible to allow time to get the second dose before the start of flu season. The two doses should be given at least 4 weeks apart.

How long does a flu vaccine protect me from getting the flu?

Multiple studies conducted over different seasons and across vaccine types and influenza virus subtypes have shown that the body’s immunity to influenza viruses (acquired either through natural infection or vaccination) declines over time. The decline in antibodies is influenced by several factors, including the antigen used in the vaccine, the age of the person being vaccinated, and the person’s general health (for example, certain chronic health conditions may have an impact on immunity). When most healthy people with regular immune systems are vaccinated, their bodies produce antibodies and they are protected throughout the flu season, even as antibody levels decline over time. Older people and others with weakened immune systems may not generate the same amount of antibodies after vaccination; further, their antibody levels may drop more quickly when compared to young, healthy people.  For everyone, getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection against influenza throughout flu season. It’s important to get a flu vaccine every season, even if you got vaccinated the season before and the viruses in the vaccine have not changed for the current season.

Article published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a community
health center?

Community Health Centers are not free clinics. Community Health Centers are private, nonprofit community owned and operated centers that are governed by volunteer consumer boards. As required by federal law, these boards are comprised of at least 51% users of the health center. These boards serve as the voice of the community and assure that the needs of their commu- nity are being met. Community Health Centers provide care to the medically underserved that experience geographic, economic, cultural, or other barriers to accessing health care and preventive services. Health Centers are America's premier primary health care providers serving the working poor, uninsured, low-income elderly, and medically underserved. Across the nation, there are over eleven million individuals that rely on community health centers for care.

2. What if I need to talk to a doctor after the office is closed?

After regular business hours, call the health center's regular office number. Our answering service will take your information and call the on-call physician to handle your medical emergency. After hours, the on-call physician does not have access to your chart, so for matters that are not urgent, such as: completion of forms, test results, scheduling an appointment, referrals and any medical concerns that can wait until the morning, please call during our regular business hours. Our office staff can access your chart to assist you with these concerns. You can find regular business hours under Location and Hours.

3. How do I get my prescription refilled?

1. To avoid running out of medicine, be sure to ask while at your office visit for enough refills to last until your next appointment. Remember to bring all medications with you to every visit.
2. If you do run out of medicine before your next appointment, check your medicine bottle at the bottom of the label, it will tell you if you are already approved to get a refill. Then, simply call the pharmacy, or take your prescription bottle to the pharmacy to get a refill.
3. If no refills are left, or you are unsure, then the fastest way to get a refill is to call the pharmacy where you got your prescription filled. They have all of your information and will call our office to authorize the refill.
4. Refills that are not emergencies can not be authorized by the on-call physician when the health center is closed. So be sure to call for a refill before you run out.
5. If you receive your medication through our patient's assistance program, call the health center two months in advance so that your refills can be available to avoid running out of medicine.

4. I lost my job and my insurance; can I still see the doctor?

Yes. Beloved Community Family Wellness Center never refuses service to anyone due to inability to pay. Please, come in and talk to our financial counselor who can assist you in determining your eligibility for insurance plans such as Medicaid or Illinois AllKids, family care, veterans' programs or our sliding fee scale* payment plan, or other payment options.

*Sliding fee scale means that your payment for services is discounted based on your family size and income

5. I need a form filled out,
what should I do?

Beloved Community Family Wellness Center is happy to fill out forms required for WIC, school physicals, job physicals, etc. Please drop off the form requiring completion at least 3-5 business days before you need the form. Some forms may take longer, so get them in as soon as possible. If you have not had a complete physical in the last year, you will need to schedule an appointment before the form can be completed. For WIC forms, patients must have been seen by their medical provider in the last six months.

6. I need to see my doctor today, can I talk to them or should I just come in?

Call the health center and ask to speak to our triage nurse who will assist you.

7. What if I have no identification (it was lost or stolen). Will I be able to receive care if I am a new patient?

We will certainly work with you to care for your medical needs. However, a current photo is required for the safety of the patient, and clinic records. ID’s that will be accepted include: State issued driver’s license, State ID, passport, current school photo, employment ID, inmate/prison ID, etc. If your medical need is urgent, we recommend that you call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Otherwise, we are happy to reschedule your appointment for a time you can provide the required identification.