In a year shaken by the coronavirus, Union County Health Department officials are encouraging residents to take advantage of their upcoming drive-thru flu shot clinic.
The event will be held from noon to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16 at the Union County Fairgrounds, 845 N. Main Street.
Shots will be given by appointment, which can be scheduled online at www.uchd.net.
Certified Nurse Practitioner and Director of Nursing for UCHD Krista Finch urged local residents to get a flu shot.
“This year, it is more important than ever to get your flu shot,” said Finch. “We are moving into the normal cold and flu season while continuing to deal with the pandemic. We don’t know exactly how these compounding factors will impact our community.”
However, she emphasized that vaccinating against the flu virus is an action that will help prevent illness among community members.
“What we do know is that getting a flu shot combined with other hygiene efforts like frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces, wearing masks and keeping some space when in public places and staying home when sick are our best defense at preventing the flu and other respiratory illnesses,” Finch added.
The clinic is open to adults and children ages six months and older. High dose flu shots are available for those who are 65 and older.
UCHD Public Information Officer Jennifer Thrush said the CDC and FDA recognize that older individuals don’t always develop as strong of an immune response after receiving a traditional flu shot.
A high-dose flu shot is “not that different,” she said, but contains more antigens to develop a “more robust response” in older individuals.
Most insurances will be accepted and cover the cost of the annual flu vaccination.
For individuals who choose to self-pay, regular vaccines cost $25 and high-dose vaccines cost $50. Egg-free vaccines are $50, as well.
No nasal spray vaccine is available this year.
After booking an appointment and completing the registration form online, participants will come to the fairgrounds at their scheduled time. They should use the Route 4 entrance.
A nurse will provide participants with their vaccination through the window or door of their car.
Participants, clinic staff and volunteers must wear masks while interacting with one another.
“The process is easy,” Finch said. “Participants can register from the comfort of their home and get their flu shot without ever leaving the car.”
Thrush added that it is “a pretty quick process” and appointments should take between 10-15 minutes.
Those who are unable to register online for any reason or would like more information should call the Union County Health Department for assistance at (937) 642-2053.
Thrush noted that online registrations will close Wednesday at midnight.
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