LAWRENCE — October in Michigan marks the start of flu season.

To help prevent the spread of the flu, the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department is setting up flu clinics throughout the month. The flu clinics come at a time when people are still being urged to receive their COVID-19 vaccines. Danielle Persky, health officer for the health department stressed it is important for people to receive both vaccines.

“Getting vaccinated against the flu reduces the spread of illness, which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Persky said. “This reduces the chance of severe illness, hospitalization, or death due to a flu infection. Getting vaccinated also protects the people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, pregnant people, and people with certain chronic health conditions. Good handwashing, covering your cough and staying away from others when sick also prevents the spread of flu and other contagious diseases.”

Flu is a contagious illness that can be spread from person to person through droplets when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks. Symptoms of the flu include coughing, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, sore throat, headache, fatigue, fever, and/or chills.

Flu vaccines are available at the clinics for people ages 12 and older, and high-dose vaccines for people 65 and older. There will also be first and second doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines available as well as booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for people who the Centers for Disease Control recommends receive a third dose.

To make an appointment, visit the health department website at https://vbcassdhd.org/medical-services/flu/. The flu shot clinic schedule follows:

10 a.m.-2 p.m., Oct. 12, Van Buren Conference Center, 490 S. Paw Paw St., Lawrence.

2 p.m.-5 p.m., Oct. 14, Marcellus High School gym, 303 W. Arbor St., Marcellus.

10 a.m.-2 p.m., Oct. 19, Antwerp Township Activity Center, 24821 Front Ave., Mattawan.

10 a.m.-2 p.m., Oct. 21, Southwestern Michigan College, 58900 Cherry Grove Rd., Dowagiac.

1 p.m.-6 p.m., Oct. 26, Van Buren Conference Center, 490 S. Paw Paw St., Lawrence.