The New River Health District will offer free seasonal flu vaccines for adults and children at the Montgomery County Health Department (210 S. Pepper St., Suite A) in Christiansburg from 8-3 p.m. on Monday and at the Radford City Health Department (220 E. Main St., Radford) from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday.
This flu vaccine will be offered free to anyone three years and older on a first-come, first-served basis. Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is a serious disease caused by the influenza virus that affects the respiratory tract.
“Because so much attention is on the flu right now and because we have some vaccines available, we want to get it to mass people,” Dyana Williams, nurse manager senior health district, said.
The disease is highly contagious and generally spreads from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The best ways to minimize your risk of contracting the flu or spreading it to others is to get vaccinated; wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds; cover your cough, either by using a disposable tissue or coughing into your sleeve and to stay at home when you are sick.
The timing and duration of flu seasons can vary from early fall to late spring and it takes about two weeks from the time an individual gets the flu shot to build the protective response in their body.
Receiving an annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the risk of becoming sick with the flu and spreading the virus to others.
The NRHD holds multiple flu vaccination events every year at beginning of the season, walk-in clinics and even drive-in “flu pods.”
“It’s not anything extra. The Virginia Department of Health budgets for this annually. We’re fortunate we have access to this,” Williams said.
Some protection is better than none she said. The vaccine is not going to prevent a person from getting the flu, but with the vaccination, the, sometimes very bad, symptom will be less severe.
Williams recommends that persons age six months or older should be vaccinated against influenza each year.
Individuals are encouraged to wear clothing that is loose around the arm so that a public health nurse can administer the flu shot in the upper arm.
For more information, call the New River Health District at 585-3300 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov.