September 20, 2019
For More Information Contact
- Breanne Forbes Hubbard, population health manager, 276-759-8297
(MARION, Va.) – With the arrival of September, the Virginia Department of Health’s Mount Rogers Health District and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine each year as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
All local health departments in the Mount Rogers Health District now offer flu vaccine. “Walk-ins will be accepted but it is best to call the local offices for an appointment to avoid wait times,” said District Nurse Manager Patricia VanHoy.
In October, the health district will offer free flu vaccine in all local public schools and encourages parents to take advantage of this opportunity to protect their children. Each school will send vaccine information, schedules and permission forms home to parents. The vaccine will only be available as an injection this year.
“Since flu viruses can change and new strains can emerge, the vaccine may not prevent all cases, but it is the best defense available against the disease, which can have serious complications, especially for the very young, older adults and those with compromised immune systems,” said Dr. Karen Shelton, district health director. “Some children need two doses of flu vaccine in order to have adequate protection. Check with your child’s health care professional to find out what your child needs.”
The flu virus is spread easily by coughing, sneezing and nasal secretions. “The flu vaccine is especially important as well as proper handwashing for keeping flu from spreading. If you do get sick, stay home from work or school until you recover. In addition, prescription antiviral medications may help treat the flu,” said Dr. Shelton.
Please call your local health department or healthcare provider to schedule your appointment for flu vaccine. When applicable, please have insurance, Medicare or Medicaid cards available.
Bland County Health Department 276-688-3642
Bristol, Virginia Health Department 276-642-7345
Carroll County Health Department 276-730-3180
Galax City Health Department 276-236-6127
Grayson County Health Department 276-773-2961
Smyth County Health Department 276-781-7460
Washington County Health Department 276-676-5604
Wythe County Health Department 276-228-5507
For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza-flu-in-virginia.