Use MERI for Flu Shot Needle Disposal

Many healthcare facilities use MERI for flu shot needle disposal. According to the CDC, up to 168 million doses of the flu shot will be given this year in the United States. Thousands of the used needles will come afterward to MERI’s disposal facility.

Madison Environmental Resourcing Inc. (MERI) works with organizations through the Midwest, including:

  • Colleges
  • Corporate Office Parks
  • Skilled Nursing Centers
  • Hospitals
  • Traveling Nurses

MERI makes sure needles from flu injections are properly disposed of. This is done through MERI’s Midwest pickup service or it nationwide sharps mailback program.

Here’s a few tidbits MERI employees learned when getting their flu shots this year:

Tis the Flu Season

Flu shots are happening now. It’s even before the kick off of the National Influenza Vaccination Week of December 4-10. Flu cases happen as early as October. The flu season peaks between December and February and lasts as late as May.

If flu viruses are spreading, it’s never too late to get your vaccine. This is true even if you’ve already been sick with a flu virus. Depending on the type you get, you are still protected from three to four flu strains for approximately six months after you’ve been vaccinated.

Use Injection Over Nasal Spray

During 2016-2017, the nasal spray flu vaccine vaccine is not being recommended to combat the flu virus. Instead, the CDC recommends using the flu shot and the recombinant influenza vaccine.

Anyone who has had the flu can tell you it’s worth getting a shot. In the long run it is better to take a few moments, or overcome a fear of needles, to get yourself, and your loved ones, vaccinated.

It’s also important to get flu shots fo young children and pregnant women. In addition, people with certain chronic health conditions, like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, should be vaccinated. People who are 65 years and older too, as they are at high risk of having severe complications from the flu.

Some of the complications of not getting a flu shot include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and dehydration. It can also worsen chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. All of these can lead to hospitalization or death.

Difference Between a Cold and Flu

You likely have a cold if you are tired and gradually feel a runny nose, sore throat, cough, sneezing jag, or headache coming on.

On the other hand, you probably have the flu if your symptoms come on suddenly, are more severe, you’re extremely tired or often are going to the bathroom to get sick.

A cold is a hassle. The flu can be deadly, especially when one’s immune system is compromised. While it is still very difficult to distinguish the flu from other viruses on the basis of symptoms alone, there are tests available, if needed, to find the answer.

Click here for this handy difference between a cold and flu chart.

How Do You Avoid Getting a Cold or Flu?

Mom was right when she pleaded “Wash Your Hands!”

To avoid picking up a cold or influenza virus, wash your hands often and thoroughly with warm soap and water. Or, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth, and try to stay away from anyone who is experiencing symptoms of a cold or flu, as they can expel tiny droplets of the virus in the air, or on a table surface.

Another way to avoid getting sick is to make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and manage your stress levels through regular exercise and meditative breathing.

Most importantly, to avoid the flu, take a moment to get your flu shot to #FightFlu!

And, if you need assistance with removing needles after a flu clinic, please give Lisa or Caleb a call at 608-257-7652 or email us at