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LENOWISCO Health District to offer free flu shots in Weber City

Staff Report • Sep 23, 2018 at 3:00 PM

WEBER CITY — In just a few days, residents of Weber City and the surrounding area can get a free flu shot — without leaving their cars.

The Virginia Department of Health’s LENOWISCO Health District will offer free seasonal flu vaccines at a special drive-thru dispensing clinic at First Baptist Church in Weber City.

The vaccine will be available free to anyone 3 years and older on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially severe complications. This unique drive-thru approach is proven to be a fast and efficient way to vaccinate a large number of folks in a short time,” said Sue Cantrell, director of the LENOWISCO Health District, in a press release. “When more people get vaccinated, there is less virus present in the community to potentially infect those who cannot be immunized, such as infants under 6 months old; this helps protect everyone from this potentially deadly disease.”

When is the clinic?

The clinic will be held at the church, located at 155 Shady Elm Lane, on Monday, Oct. 1, from 5-7 p.m.

Patrons are asked to wear clothing that is loose around the arm so that a public health nurse can easily administer the shot in the upper arm.

What is the flu?

Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is a serious disease caused by a virus that affects the respiratory tract. It is highly contagious and generally spreads from person to person when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.

The virus can be transmitted even before flu-like symptoms appear. A person usually becomes sick one to three days following exposure to the virus. Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

Why get the vaccine?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the timing and duration of flu seasons vary from early fall to late spring.

Receiving an annual seasonal vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of becoming sick with the flu and spreading the virus to others, according to a press release. It takes up to two weeks to develop the vaccine’s full protection, and the coverage can last for up to a full year.

Who should be vaccinated?

Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated against influenza annually, the press release states. Particular efforts should be made to vaccinate those at higher risk of developing complications from the disease, including:

• Pregnant and postpartum women, or those who will be pregnant during the influenza season

• Anyone over 65 years of age, including residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities

• People who have chronic lung or heart problems, including asthma

• People who have other serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, anemia, cancer, weak immune systems (including those with HIV) or a seizure disorder

• Those who live with people in a high-risk group and health care workers.

Travelers to countries outside of the U.S. may also need to consider influenza vaccination, even at different times of the year.

For more information, call the LENOWISCO Health District at (276) 328-8000 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/influenza.