It's flu season once again and the numerous flu vaccination clinics being held locally include two on Saturday, October 13, 2007 at which flu shots will be given at no charge to those age six months and older, on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.
In Washoe County, free flu shots will be provided at "Rotary Family Flu Shot Day," which will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at Reed High School, 1350 Baring Boulevard in Sparks.
Those attending the "Call the Shots" event at the Carson City Senior Center, 911 Beverly Drive in Carson City, can receive free flu shots indoors or via a drive-thru between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
In addition to providing protection against seasonal flu within the region, these events are part of practicing the plans of the Washoe County District Health Department and Carson City Health and Human Services to provide immunizations (or medication) to a large number of people in a short timeframe - which could be necessary in a pandemic or other emergency causing widespread illness.
"These free events provide a wonderful, cost-effective opportunity for those living in our region to get vaccinated against seasonal flu," said Cari Rovig, statewide executive director of the Nevada Immunization Coalitions.
"Since annual flu season runs from October through April, getting a shot at one of these early events gives you the best chance of protection against the often debilitating symptoms of flu, which include fever, body aches, severe headache and, often, extreme tiredness. It also helps prevent you from passing the flu, which is a very contagious disease, along to others."
Public health experts, locally as well as nationally, strongly recommend that anyone age six months or older get an annual seasonal flu vaccination to decrease their chances of getting seasonal flu and infecting others.
Immunization is especially recommended for those who are at high risk for developing complications if they get the flu, including:
Children age six months to five years
Anyone age 50 years or older
Persons of any age with on-going health problems such as asthma or diabetes.
Annual seasonal flu vaccination is also especially recommended for those who can transmit seasonal influenza to individuals at high-risk for developing flu-related complications, including:
Healthcare personnel (anyone who has hands-on or face-to-face contact with patients).
Household contacts, caregivers and daycare providers of those at high risk for developing complications, including babies of any age.
Since it takes about two weeks for the vaccination to become effective, getting vaccinated early in the season provides the most protection, according to Rovig.
In addition to the two free flu shot events on October 13th, Northern Nevada Immunization Coalition seasonal flu shot providers have scheduled numerous additional events throughout the Washoe County and Carson City areas.
While only flu shots will be given at the two free events on October 13th, FluMist nasal spray vaccine will be offered to healthy individuals age two to 49 years by several other area providers.
Pneumonia shots also are available through most other providers.
Details are provided in a separate document.
In addition to the Northern Nevada Immunization Coalition, Washoe County District Health Department and Carson City Health and Human Services, the following businesses, agencies and organizations have been instrumental partners in undertaking this year's free flu shot events:
American Coffee, Americorps, Care Chest, CERT, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Med-Direct, the Nevada Appeal, the Nevada State Health Division, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Partners Promoting Flu Immunizations, Port of Subs, Raley's, REMSA, Renown Health, Rotary International, Saint Mary's, the University of Nevada, Reno College of Health and Human Services and Orvis School of Nursing, and the Washoe County School District.