September 19, 2019
Media Contact: Lorrie Andrew-Spear, Lorrie.Andrew-Spear@vdh.virginia.gov
Saturday, Oct. 5 – Starts at 8:30 a.m.
(Fredericksburg, Va.) – The Rappahannock Area Health District (RAHD) will conduct a public health emergency exercise on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark Elementary School parking lot, 18101 Clark and York Boulevard in Ruther Glen. Free 2019-2020 seasonal influenza vaccine will be provided. Anyone who has not yet received a 2019-2020 seasonal flu vaccine is invited to take part in this exercise.
The purpose of this 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. An example would be a worldwide outbreak of influenza—also known as an influenza pandemic.
The Rappahannock Area Health District, Caroline County Department of Fire–Rescue, and Rappahannock Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will work together on this drill. The vaccine is provided by the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Emergency Preparedness.
One hundred doses of vaccine will be available and offered to those age 12 and older on a first-come, first-served basis. Be sure to wear clothing that is loose around the arm so that a public health nurse can give you the flu shot in your upper arm, while you stay in your vehicle. The drill will continue until 12:30 p.m. or while supplies last.
“Getting your flu vaccine is the best way to protect you, your family, friends, and co-workers from getting the flu,” said RAHD Director Brooke Rossheim, M.D., M.P.H. “Practice good hygiene by frequently washing your hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers when water is unavailable. Always cover your cough and sneezes, stay at home when you are sick, and limit your contact with others who are sick.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that influenza has resulted in as many as 49 million illnesses, up to 960,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 79,000 deaths annually in the U.S. since 2010.
For more information about the flu, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza-flu-in-virginia/ or www.flu.gov. For more information about the Rappahannock Area Health District call 540-899-4797 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/Rappahannock.