October 21, 2020
Media Contact: Samara Lott, Population Health Planning and Improvement Coordinator, Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, Samara.Lott@vdh.virginia.gov
Get Your Free Flu Vaccine at Drive-Thru Clinic, Saturday in Roanoke
(ROANOKE, Virginia) – Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, Carilion Clinic, LewisGale and the Salem VA Partner to Offer FREE Community Flu Vaccination Event.
- When: Saturday, October 24, noon to 4 p.m.
- Where: Carilion’s Riverside Parking Garage (Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA)
Flu season has officially begun. This year, health systems are also facing what has been coined a “twin-demic.” Influenza, or “the flu,” and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms and are spread in similar ways. The best way to reduce the risk of widespread outbreaks and hospitalizations due to the flu is to get a flu shot. The CDC estimates that each year over the last decade, influenza has caused 9 to 45 million illnesses, 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 61,000 deaths.
“We want to keep our community safe this fall,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow, health director for the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD). “Over the next few months, we will be experiencing the double impact of COVID-19 and flu, as well as other seasonal respiratory viruses. We expect that we will have a complicated and challenging winter. We are partnering with our healthcare systems to offer the community the chance to get a no-cost flu vaccine in the safety of a drive-thru event.”
To help combat this problem, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, Carilion Clinic, LewisGale Regional Health System and the Salem VA Health Care System are teaming up to host a free flu shot event on Saturday, October 24, from noon to 4 p.m. at Carilion’s Riverside Parking Garage (Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA).
No registration is required: Walk-ins are welcome. Flu shots will be available for anyone 6 months or older (minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). This will be a drive-thru clinic, and masks are required.
“The timing and duration of flu seasons vary – they can occur from early fall to late spring. Receiving an annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of becoming sick with the flu and spreading the virus to others. When more people get vaccinated, there is less spread of flu in the community. It takes up to two weeks to develop the vaccine’s full protection,” said Dr. Morrow.
Providers also remind the public that many of the safety precautions taken for COVID-19 can also help prevent the spread of the flu. In addition to a flu shot, experts encourage community members to:
- Wear a mask or face covering whenever around people outside of your immediate household.
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.
- Practice social distancing (stay at least six feet away from others).
- Stay home and seek care if you’re feeling sick.
The health district also held drive-thru flu vaccine clinics recently in Roanoke, Salem, Vinton, Covington, New Castle, Roanoke City and Botetourt County, dispensing almost 3,000 vaccines.
For more information about Roanoke City and Alleghany Health District’s flu prevention efforts, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/roanoke/flu-immunization-clinics/ or call 540-283-5050.
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