Lenowisco Health District Tests Preparedness Capabilities while Providing Free Flu Vaccine to Area Residents

October 27, 2020

Media Contact: Michael Whiteaker, emergency coordinator, LENOWISCO Health District, 276-386-8011

Lenowisco Health District Tests Preparedness Capabilities while Providing Free Flu Vaccine to Area Residents

[Wise, Va.]– The LENOWISCO Health District will offer free flu shots to Virginia residents ages 3 and up  Tuesday, November 3 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at drive-up clinics at the Norton City/Wise County Health Department, 134 Roberts Ave. SW, Wise and at the Lee County Health Department, 134 Hill St., Jonesville.

Vaccine will be available first-come, first-served, as long as supplies last. Please wear a short-sleeved shirt or sleeves that roll up easily, so you may be vaccinated in the convenience and comfort of your vehicle. No ID is required. The vaccine is the “quadrivalent” type, which covers four types of flu.

To save time, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/lenowisco/ to print and fill out a paper registration form to bring to the clinic. (Required sections are marked in yellow). This will simplify the paperwork at the clinic, but it does NOT reserve a dose of vaccine. If you are unable to complete the form in advance, you may fill one out at the site.

“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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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.”

The purpose of this drive-thru 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.

Getting a seasonal flu vaccine each year is the best way to prevent the spread of flu. Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and stay home if you do get sick.

While the timing of flu season is unpredictable, seasonal flu activity often begins to increase in October, most commonly peaks between December and February and can last as late as May. The 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.

For more information about these clinics, contact Michael Whiteaker, local health emergency coordinator for the LENOWISCO Health District at 276-386-8011. For more information on seasonal flu or the flu vaccine, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza-flu-in-virginia/ or www.cdc.gov/flu/.