OCH Regional Medical Center Auxiliary to Sponsor Free Flu Clinic Saturday
Cases of the flu have already been reported in our community, and the number of those cases is sure to increase over the next few months. According to OCH Infection Control Manager Kim Roberts, RN, the best way to protect yourself from the headache, fever, chills, dry cough and body aches associated with influenza is to get a flu shot.
Roberts said the influenza vaccine is specifically recommended for people who are at high risk for developing serious complications as a result of influenza infection, but any adult who wishes to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza should receive a flu shot.
“Now is the time to act on prevention, as influenza is most common from December to April,” Roberts said. “The immune system takes time to respond to the vaccine, so October through mid-November is the best time to take the shot.”
Since the flu virus continually changes, and each year’s vaccine includes the most current virus strains, Roberts said one should receive an updated flu shot every year. In addition, she said the vaccine only provides protection for about six months.
“Although the flu shot will not cause the flu, some people do experience soreness or redness at the injection site and a slight fever or minor muscle aches,” she said, adding that individuals allergic to eggs should not take a flu shot since the vaccine’s ingredients are grown in eggs. “It is important to note that a person can still obtain a different strain of the flu than what the vaccine contained—the vaccine only protects against the most common strain of that year,” explained Roberts.
Flu shots are available at most physicians’ clinics and the local health department. And again this year, the OCH Regional Medical Center Auxiliary is sponsoring 200 free flu vaccines on a first-come, first-served basis for community members on Saturday, October 19 beginning at 7 a.m. Auxiliary members will be assisting participants with paperwork, while volunteer nurses from OCH will administer the shots. The flu clinic will be held in the community room adjacent to the Medical Center’s front lobby. Each participant must be between the ages of 18 and 65. The high-dose vaccine recommended for those 65-plus will not be available at this clinic.
For more information, call the OCH Infection Control Department at 662-615-2820.