September 17, 2020
Media Contact: Michael Whiteaker, Emergency Coordinator, LENOWISCO Health District, 276-386-1312
Lenowisco Health District Tests Preparedness Capabilities While Providing Free Flu Vaccinations to the Public
[Gate City, Va.]– The LENOWISCO Health District will hold two drive-through flu clinics offering free quadrivalent flu vaccine (covers four types of flu) to Virginia residents ages 3 and up, from the convenience and comfort of your vehicle. On Friday, September 25, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., a drive-through flu clinic will be in downtown Appalachia on Main Street in the large parking lot adjacent to The Appalachia Towers. On Saturday, September 26, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., a drive-through flu clinic will be at Gate City High School (178 Harry Fry Drive, Gate City, VA). No ID is required. Vaccines supplies are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please wear a short-sleeved shirt or sleeves that roll up for easy access to the upper arm.
The purpose of this drive-through exercise is to simulate a mass vaccination event in which the health department and local agencies would work together so community members could be vaccinated efficiently during a time of emergency.
A registration form is available online at www.vdh.virginia.gov/lenowisco/. You may print and fill out the form (required sections marked by yellow), sign and bring it with you to the clinic. This will simplify the paperwork at the clinic, but it does NOT reserve a dose of vaccine, which is available while supplies last.
The LENOWISCO Health District encourages residents to stay healthy and help keep the people closest to them healthy by getting a seasonal flu vaccine, which is the best way to prevent seasonal flu. Additional ways to prevent the flu are washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and stay home if you do get sick so you don’t spread the illness to others. While the timing of flu season is unpredictable, seasonal flu activity often begins to increase in October, most commonly peaks between December and February, but can last as late as May. CDC recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine by the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body to protect against flu virus infection.
“Getting a flu vaccination this year is more important than ever,” said Eleanor Cantrell, M.D., director of the Cumberland Plateau and LENOWISCO Health Districts. “According to the CDC, COVID-19 will likely continue into the fall and winter and may overlap with the flu season. With the possibility of both viruses occurring in our communities at the same time, it is vital that everyone age 6 months or older get their yearly flu shot.”
For more information about the drive-through flu clinic, contact Michael Whiteaker, Local Health Emergency Coordinator for the LENOWISCO Health District, (276) 386-1312. For more information on seasonal flu or the flu vaccine, visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza-flu-in-virginia/ or https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.