Flu shot clinics underway at VA

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The clinic gets underway every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Veterans Hospital in Reno.

There's a modest line as veterans wait patiently for their turn in the chair.

Korean Veteran Tom Moore says he lives in Silver Springs and came Wednesday with his friend. With such a long way to travel for health care, he says you don't want to take any chances.

“I come in and get my shot because it protects me,” says Moore.

At 81, Moore is considered at high-risk of suffering severe effects from the flu.

In general, the flu shot is more than 60% effective in preventing disease. But that's typically for whipper snappers half Moore's age who are waiting in line. For patients like Moore who are older than 60 years of age, a more potent vaccine is given to up the chances of effectiveness.

“So it is two A and one B for the high dose. 65 and older is who it is recommended for,” says Beth Willmer RN, Infection Preventionist at the VA Hospital.

Without the shot, patients 65 years or older are ten times more at risk of dying from influenza than those just five years younger.

Willmer says the VA takes flu very seriously, and has been administering the free vaccine for just about as long as it's been available. Last year alone they went through 10,000 doses.