Rappahannock Area Health District Offers Free Flu Shots at State Fair

Saturday’s Flu Shot Event Starts at 10 a.m.

October 1, 2014

(Fredericksburg, Va.)—The Virginia Department of Health’s Rappahannock Area Health District will offer free flu shots Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 beginning at 10 a.m. at the State Fair of Virginia. The event will be held at the Farm Bureau Center at Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. Only 550 doses of vaccine will be available, and will be offered to anyone 18 years of age and older on a first-come, first-served basis, until 3 p.m. or the supply of flu shots runs out.

Influenza, or “the flu,” is a contagious respiratory disease. Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue.

“Everyone should be vaccinated for influenza annually,” said Brooke Rossheim, MD, MPH, director of the Rappahannock Area Health District. “Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially severe complications, and this on site event offers a fast and efficient way to vaccinate a large number of people in a short time.”

Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of complications from influenza:

  • Pregnant and postpartum women, or those who will be pregnant during the influenza season
  • Persons 65 years of age and older, including residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
  • People with chronic medical conditions including heart, lung, liver and kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer, a weak immune system (including individuals with HIV disease) and anemia

Each year in the U.S. approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized due to flu illness. Flu-related deaths range from 3,000 to 49,000 each year, averaging 24,000 per year over the last three decades.

To minimize your risk of contracting or transmitting the flu, follow these simple steps:

  • Get a flu shot each year
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover your cough by using a disposable tissue or coughing into your sleeve, not your hand
  • Stay home when you are sick

For more information, call the Rappahannock Area Health District at 540-899-4797 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov.