LENOWISCO Health District Tests Preparedness Capabilities While Providing Free Flu Vaccine to Area Residents

October 7, 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

[Gate City, Va.]– The LENOWISCO Health District will offer free flu shots to Virginia residents ages 3 and up on Friday, October 16 from 3 to 6 p.m. at a drive-thru clinic at Glamorgan Chapel Church parking lot, 183 Southmark Road, SW, in Wise.

Local first responders are especially encouraged to attend and get vaccinated.

Vaccine supplies are limited and will be available first-come, first-served, as long as supplies last. Please wear a short-sleeved shirt or sleeves that roll up, and get 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.

“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 this drive-thru clinic, 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 http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza-flu-in-virginia/ or https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.