We are in the thick of the flu season. Doctors say it's the time of year many get sick because they don't take the steps to protect themselves. Area health officials are making it easier for you to flight the flu.
They say there really is no excuse. With a variety of free flu clinics coming up they want you to be not only healthy but also informed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 200,000 people are sent to the hospital each year as a result of flu complications. Influenza is a disease that spreads from person to person at any place, at any time.
"It sort of reaches many aspects of the family, young and children," explains Nurse Practitioner Michele Andrews.
It's why the Richmond Health Department is giving away more than 500 free flu shots to anyone who wants it. No questions asked.
"We realize there are a lot of people who don't have health insurance now because they're out of work or it's tough for them to get to us so were trying to bring it to the community to make it easier for them," said Amy Vincent with the department.
While health officials recommend everyone get vaccinated --unless you're allergic to eggs-- they say some need the shot more than others. Like senior citizens, pregnant women and mothers.
"Because it compromises your fluid intake, fever, and it affects the baby in utero..If a mom doesn't get the flu shot, and she gets the flu, she runs the risk of bringing it home to her children," Andrews added.
At the end of the day, getting a shot is a practice of precaution, health officials say, despite common misconceptions.
"The virus does not induce the flu. It causes an immunity to the flu…Some people say ‘I got the flu even after I got the shot'. I'm not sure that's always true but if you get the flu afterwards, if you got the flu shot it wouldn't be as bad as what you are experiencing," she said.
Upcoming Flu Shot Clinics:
Friday, 11/2 – 2:00 – 6:00 pm - Walmart (2501 Sheila Lane)
Big Apple Supermarket (2916 Jefferson Davis Highway)
Saturday, 11/3 – 10 am – 2pm – Westcreek Emergency Center (12720 Tuckahoe Creek Court)
Tuesday, 11/6 – 11 am – 7pm (check with locations for specific times) – Swansboro Elementary School, Northside Family YMCA, Branches Baptist Church, Robinson Theatre) These locations are not free, but insurance will be accepted.
Tuesday, 11/13 – 2:00 – 6:00 pm - Richmond Ambulance Authority
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