LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau Health Districts Urge Residents to Get Flu Vaccine

September 15, 2022

Media Contact:
Allie Phillips, population health manager, allison.phillips@vdh.virginia.gov, (276)-415-3360

LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau Health Districts Urge Residents to Get Flu Vaccine

WISE, Va. – In anticipation of the 2022-2023 flu season, the LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau Health Districts urge residents to get their annual influenza (flu) vaccination to reduce the chance of getting the flu and spreading it to others. Each year, more than 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized from complications of the flu, and about 36,000 die as a result.

It is recommended everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot. All local health departments within the LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau health districts are accepting appointments and also those who choose to walk in for the vaccine.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic still underway, it’s more important than ever that everyone do their part to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses,” said Melissa Freeman, Immunization Action Program Coordinator for LENOWISCO Health District.

“With cases of flu already starting to appear within our area, now is the time to get the vaccine. Taking this preventative step will aid in the reduction of hospitalizations from the flu. This is especially important with the strain that has been placed on our local healthcare systems since the arrival of COVID-19,” stated Freeman.

If you are unsure if you can be vaccinated, talk with your doctor to discuss your personal health risks and concerns. There are many vaccine options to choose from; the most important thing is to get a flu vaccine each year, and to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

Flu season generally peaks in December and January and it is important to be vaccinated before the flu begins to spread. Since it takes about two weeks for the flu vaccination to provide protection, the CDC recommends getting your flu shot before the end of October. Children receiving the flu vaccine for the first time require two doses four weeks apart, so the first should be given in September to allow time for the second dose before the end of October.

These simple steps can help stop the spread of germs and help protect you from getting sick:
● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
● Stay home when you are sick, which will help prevent others from catching your illness.
● Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
● Clean your hands often.
● Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

In addition to the local health departments, the flu vaccine may also be offered through private health care providers, free clinics, and pharmacies. For those 6 months and older, the injectable vaccine will protect against four strains of the flu virus. A separate vaccine is recommended for those aged 65 and older to give older people a better immune response resulting in better protection against the flu. Individuals who do not have health insurance may receive reduced cost or free flu vaccine with proof of income.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call your local health department.

Cumberland Plateau Health District:
● Buchanan County – 276-935-4591
● Dickenson County – 276-926-4979
● Russell County – 276-889-7621
● Tazewell County – 276-988-5585

LENOWISCO Health District:
● Lee County – 276-346-2011
● Scott County – 276-386-1312
● Wise County/Norton City – 276-328-8000

For more information, visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/flu/