Banner Health offers community flu shot clinics

Special to the Surveyor

With fall officially here, it’s time to start thinking about flu season. Banner
Health Community Wellness will provide a number of community flu shot clinics for those ages 4 and older in
Larimer and Weld counties starting this week and running through November. Similar to last year, the nasal flu
mist will not be available at the clinics this year, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has
determined the mist demonstrated minimal effectiveness in recent years.
“It’s important for everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in
their community,” said Roxane Conant, community and worksite wellness senior manager at Banner Health. “It is
especially important for individuals – such as young children and older adults – who are at high risk for developing
complications due to the flu to get their vaccines early and take extra precautions, such as hand hygiene, staying
home when sick and covering the nose when coughing or sneezing.”
Although peak influenza activity in the United States normally occurs between December and March, the CDC
recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, if possible.
Here are five things people should know about the flu vaccine:
• Doesn’t cause the flu: The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu because it is not a live vaccination. If
exposed to the flu prior to developing immunity from the vaccination, you may develop flu symptoms but
will likely have a less severe illness.
• One will do it: You only need to get the flu vaccine once per season. There is no benefit to receiving
another vaccine later in the season. The shot is effective for the entire duration of flu season.
• Alternatives available: Flu vaccines are available egg free and Thimerosal (preservative) free.
• Important news for seniors: There is a high-dose vaccine available for those 65 years of age and older.
• Recommended for most: Flu vaccine is recommended for all persons 6 months of age and older.
From Oct. 1, 2016 – May 31, 2017, McKee Medical Center in Loveland and Banner Fort Collins Medical Center in
Fort Collins had 40 inpatient and 187 outpatient positive flu tests. North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley had
88 inpatient and 255 outpatient positive flu tests.
According to the CDC, people at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, and people 65 years and older. Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to them. Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.
Banner Health community flu shot clinics are open to the public. Cost is $35 for a Flu Shot. Tdap and Td vaccines will also be available. Medicare Part B will be billed. For more information regarding the upcoming flu shot clinics, please call (970) 810-6633.

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