For the second straight year, fewer flu vaccination shot were administered in Logan County, according to Paula Beatty, the nurse in charge of Arkansas Department of Health Units operating in Paris and Booneville.
ADH conducted mass vaccination clinics last week in Paris and Booneville. Beatty said Monday that vaccination shots were given to 720 people in Paris last Thursday and to 408 people in Booneville last Friday. The mass vaccination clinic in Paris was done at the First National Bank Community Center. The clinic is Booneville was conducted at First Baptist Church.
Including clinics conducted earlier in October in area school districts, Beatty said 2,678 people have been vaccinated for the flu in Logan County this year, compared to 2,886 last year — a drop of 208 people. Fewer people were vaccinated in 2015 than in 2014.
Beatty said fewer people are showing up for the mass clinics because vaccinations are readily available in multiple locations now.
“There are a lot of other places to get vaccinated now,” she said. “You can get vaccinated at pharmacies, at the doctor’s office and even some employers are vaccinating employees. That’s a good thing.”
If you did not get vaccinated at one of the mass clinics, doctor’s offices and pharmacies, as well as ADH units, still have vaccine. ADH units are offering vaccinations from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This year’s vaccine is for three different strains of flu and the H1N1 virus.
“It’s based on what is all ready floating around,” she said. “We’re told they are matching pretty well with the strains of flu we’re seeing. We’re seeing sporadic levels of flu in the state but there have been no cases reported in Logan County.
“It’s going to be an early flu season this year,” she said. “That’s what they are predicting.”
Here’s some information about seasonal flu and the vaccine from the Arkansas Department of Health:
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.
Children, the elderly, health care workers and others prone to getting the flu should get their flu vaccine every year. For extra safety, people you live with or spend a lot of time with should also get a flu vaccine. You are less likely to get the flu if the people around you don’t have it. Flu vaccine helps your body fight the flu during the height of the flu season, which is generally December through March. Flu vaccine is available through your local health unit.
Seasonal flu is a disease that causes mild to severe illness and is easily spread. Each year in the United States, 25-50 million infections are reported, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 23,600 die due to seasonal flu. The seasonal flu virus is spread through coughing or sneezing and by touching a hard surface with the virus on it and then touching your nose or mouth. Flu vaccine will not give you the flu! The shot is a vaccine that helps protect you against the seasonal flu virus. The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine each year. The vaccine takes one to two weeks to start working and is 70 to 90 percent effective in preventing the seasonal flu.
Children can catch the flu more often than adults but they usually aren’t as sick. Parents should keep their sick children at home so they do not spread the flu to others. For older adults and others who are at risk of complications, flu vaccine can reduce hospitalizations by as much as 70 percent and deaths by 85 percent. It’s the best way to protect yourself and your family.