|Updated: 10/24/2011 4:07 pm
||Published: 10/24/2011 3:12 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR — Beginning October 24 and continuing through the first week of November, the Arkansas Department of Health is providing seasonal flu vaccine at mass flu clinics in every county, according to a release.
A mass flu clinic is a day-long event during which the community comes together to immunize as many people as possible. ADH staff, health professionals and volunteers work as a team to provide vaccine. Some clinics offer “drive-throughs” where you don’t even leave your car.
“Flu can be a serious illness, and we lose roughly 23,600 Americans to complications from flu each year,” .Dr. Paul Halverson, state health officer and ADH director said.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging everyone six months and older to get the vaccine. Last year, the ADH and private providers vaccinated more than 700,000 Arkansans for seasonal flu and H1N1 influenza A. Even with this incredible effort, we lost 53 Arkansans to complications from flu. Preventing the flu is up to you. Please get your vaccine and encourage your family members to do so, too.”
If you have insurance, the ADH will ask your insurance company to pay for the cost of giving the vaccine. If you have insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or ARKids First, bring your cards with you so that we can file with your insurance company. If you do not have insurance or your insurance company does not pay, the vaccine will be no charge to you.
Flu is a sickness that infects the nose, throat and lungs and is caused by the influenza virus. If you’re young and healthy, the flu vaccine may be 70 to 90 percent effective in preventing illness. Children eight years and younger who have never received seasonal flu vaccine before will need a second dose of vaccine for full protection. Parents will need to contact a local ADH health unit or health care provider, see if vaccine is available and take their children in for a second dose four weeks after the first vaccination.
See complete list of sites at http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programsServices/infectiousDisease/Immunizations/SeasonalFlu/Pages/MassFluClinics.aspx
For more information, go to www.healthy.arkansas.gov or www.flu.gov .