Flu clinics begin Tuesday | CraigDailyPress.com

Flu clinics begin Tuesday

Officials say vaccination supply will meet demand this year

Paul Shockley

Area nurses have thousands of flu shots sitting in refrigerators just waiting to vaccinate Moffat County residents against the traditional winter bug.

“We’re ready to go on Tuesday, the 22nd,” said Marilyn Bouldin, director of community health with the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

With the state officially recognizing flu season this week, Bouldin said the VNA’s initial vaccination effort would focus on “high-risk” groups. These groups include persons who are 50 years old or older, or anyone six months or older with chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or weakened immune systems.

Pregnant women more than three months along, or children and teenagers who are on long-term aspirin therapy susceptible to Rye Syndrome after the flu also fall within that “high-risk” category, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“If in doubt, come and get it,” Bouldin said.

New this year, the Centers for Disease Control encourages youngsters between six and 23 months to get the annual shots.

The CDC had earlier recommended that only children with heart or upper respiratory problems receive the inoculation.

“We encourage all parents to call the VNA or their private care provider,” Bouldin said.

Bouldin said the supply of vaccines should be enough to meet demand, which was not the case throughout the nation last year. The VNA has roughly 2,000 shots in stock with more expected in the coming weeks, she said.

“It wasn’t a pleasant flu season last year,” she said, noting shot shortages that forced the cancellation or re-scheduling of various clinics.

The VNA will hold its first clinic from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday at Sunset Meadows One at 635 Ledford St.

Flu vaccines cost $15 each, while pneumonia shots are $20 apiece.

“If you’ve never had the pneumonia shot, and you are over 65 years old or at high risk for influenza, then you should think about getting it,” Bouldin said.

Residents are urged to bring Medicare or Medicaid cards to the clinics, Bouldin said.

Those residents in the same risk group can come to the VNA’s Maybell clinic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 0n Oct. 24. The clinic will be at the town’s community center.

Clinics open to all residents will be from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 28, when the VNA will host patients at the group’s office at 745 Russell St. Similar walk-in clinics will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 30 at the office and at the same location from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 31 and from 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 1.

The VNA also will be at City Market from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 2.

Appointments are not needed, and shots are given on a first-come, first-serve basis, Bouldin said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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