MASON COUNTY — Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Mason County Health Department is once again offering the annual flu shot clinics.
This year, the health department will hold the clinics outside, according to Nurse Manager Jennifer Thomas. Vaccines will be given on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 to 11 a.m. Other arrangements can be made if necessary, Thomas added. The flu shots will be administered behind the health department building, off of Viand Street.
Thomas said those wanting vaccines need to call the health department at 304-675-3050 to schedule a day and time. Once in the parking lot, a nurse will take the patient’s information, including name, date of birth, and allergies. The person, still remaining in the vehicle, will then drive up to a second nurse, who will administer the shot.
Thomas said a few of the clinics have already been held and have gone smoothly. With people calling for the appointments, there have been no wait times, she said.
Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine, with rare exceptions, according to the CDC website. It takes about two weeks after the vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body for flu protection, so the best time to get the shot is September or October. Getting vaccinated anytime during the flu season can provide some protection, however, according to the CDC.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC site states protecting yourself from the flu will help reduce the strain on healthcare systems. COVID-19 and the flu share many common symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches and body pains, headache, and more uncommon, vomiting and diarrhea. Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, however, are a change in, or the loss of, taste and/or smell, according to the CDC site.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.