LOVELOCK — Several hundred local residents received their annual flu shot last month, and local health officials are urging those who did not to act now.
Pershing County Community Health Nurse Marsha Foreman, RN, said approximately 275 people were vaccinated against the seasonal flu as part of the annual drive-thru point of distribution on Thursday, September 30, at the Pershing County Community Center.
Foreman said the event never ceases to amaze her for its efficiency, with hundreds being vaccinated in just the course of four hours, thanks to a small army of medical, law enforcement and community volunteers.
Still, she wishes there had been more people inoculated.
“This could be a worse-than-average flu season,” she said, “and the more people who can get vaccinated in our community, the less burden we’ll see on our health system, especially since we will continue to battle COVID during the coming months.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm it’s highly likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this fall and winter.
While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, the flu vaccine is known to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death. Plus, it will help conserve potentially scarce healthcare resources.
Foreman said last year, masking and other precautions against the coronavirus kept flu at historically low levels. But with schools and businesses reopened, travel resuming, and far less masking, flu could make a big comeback.
“With so few people exposed to the influenza virus last season, people won’t have the potential added defense against illness that natural immunity can bring,” she said. “I just hope people will prepare.”
Foreman said all persons age 6 months and older are recommended for the vaccine, especially children, people age 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system.
Foreman said a prior infection with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or flu does not protect someone from future flu infections. “The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year,” she said.
Influenza shots are available locally by appointment through the Community Health Office (call to schedule at 775-273-2041; through regional pharmacies (all offer no-appointment access during regular business hours); and through local health provider offices.
For questions, please call Pershing County Community Health at 775-273-2041. Se habla español.