Health department flu shot clinic is Tuesday

Published 10:12 am Monday, September 19, 2022

With autumn’s return, falling leaves and pumpkin-flavored coffee are not the only hallmarks of the season Clark County residents should be aware of as flu season is on its way.

And to help the area stay healthy during cold weather, the Clark County Health Department will offer free flu shots during a drive-thru clinic at Legacy Grove Park. The clinic will run from noon to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The vaccines are free for anyone nine years of age and above, and though a QR code does exist for pre-registration, it is not required.

The health department wanted to make it easy for individuals to get the vaccine.

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“The vaccine still provides you with the best protection against severe illness, so we really want to make getting them as easy and accessible as possible,” said Clark County Public Health Director Becky Kissick.

The health department wants a sizable majority of the population inoculated because a more active flu season may be on its way as society has shifted back to regular social habits. Due to mask-wearing and social distancing caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 season was not as active. That was not the case for this past season.

“Over the course of the last year or so, we have seen an atypical flu season. Into June of this year, we were still reporting regional activity,” Kissick said.

The number of cases increased from three in 2020 to 90 during last year’s season.

And with a more active season anticipated, the health department encourages anyone who falls into vulnerable populations to get the vaccine.

“Those are our elderly folks, folks that are immunocompromised and kids to some extent,” Kissick said.

The vaccine will be the typical one offered each year tailored to the strain health officials have observed spreading around the world.

The health department will offer two versions of the vaccine, the usual dose and the high dose.

“High dose is what we reserve for our elderly population where we see a natural waning of immunity there, so they get a natural bump,” Kissick said.

Besides the vaccine, there are other ways to prevent the spread of the flu.

“You will hear me say it a million times, but great hand hygiene is going to be one of the best protective factors that we can offer. So folks really need to make sure they are washing hands with soap, warmer water and are doing it frequently,” Kissick said. “Also importantly, stay home when you are sick. It is one of those things, too, where we all have things to do and want to go out and do. Stay home when you are sick and give yourself a little time to heal.”

Kissick offered this advice to those thinking about a double vaccination day for the flu and Covid-19.

“The guidance out there says that we can certainly can provide a flu vaccine and a Covid vaccine on the same day, but we do like to have a conversation with folks about that because if you had any challenges with the Covid booster or vaccine, we want you to be aware those side effects may be a little stronger, especially if you do them on the same day.”