Mass flu vaccine slated Sept. 28 in BV

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Carroll County Health Unit will offer flu vaccinations at 402 Hailey Road in Berryville from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28.

People should bring their insurance cards with them to the flu vaccine clinic. If they do not have insurance or the insurance does not cover flu shots, the vaccine will be available at no charge.

“We want Carroll County residents to stay healthy this flu season, and getting a yearly flu vaccination is the best line of protection,” said Lisa Holt, Carroll County Health Unit administrator. “We encourage everyone to come to the mass clinic at the local health unit to get their flu shot.”

According to a press release from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), experts continue to recommend annual flu vaccinations for children and adults. The flu virus changes from year to year, the release says, and this year’s vaccine protects against the flu viruses that are expected to cause the most illness this flu season.

“The flu should not be taken lightly,” said Dr. Dirk Haselow, state epidemiologist at ADH. “We are encouraging everyone to get a flu shot to protect themselves and their families, because it is hard to predict in advance how severe the flu season is going to be this year.”

People of all ages can get the flu. The release says certain people are more likely to have serious health problems if they get the flu. This includes older adults, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease), people who smoke and people who live in nursing homes, it says. Therefore, ADH strongly recommends that people in these groups get a flu vaccine. It is also recommended that friends, family members and people who provide care to people in these groups also get a vaccine not only to protect themselves but also to decrease the possibility that they might expose the people they love and care for to the flu, the release says.

The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu. Some people may have mild soreness and redness near the site of the shot and a low fever or slight headache. There are very few medical reasons to skip the flu vaccine, the release says. These include life-threatening allergic reactions to a previous dose of the flu vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine. It says people with allergies to vaccine ingredients can often receive the vaccine safely if it is given in a doctor’s office where they can be monitored.

The flu is easily spread through coughing or sneezing and by touching something, such as a door knob, with the virus on it and then touching their nose or mouth. Good hand washing habits are important in preventing the flu, the release says. However, the best way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine.

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