The local Thrifty White Pharmacy is pairing up with Affiliated Community Medical Centers to hold a community flu shot clinic at a variety of area locations on Tuesday, October 29.
At present, flu activity is low in the United States but as the fall season transitions to winter things are expected to pick up quickly, leaving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recommend that individuals get their flu shot now.
According to local ACMC Physician, Dr. Art Rillo, the message is pretty simple, “If you're older than six months you get a should a flu shot,” he said.
Rillo noted that there are two main types of the flu, influenza A & B, as well as two subtypes, H1N1 and H3N2. Of the lot, H3N2 is the slightly more dangerous, but regardless all are highly communicable and can be deadly, especially for those with developing and depressed immune systems.
“A lot of people won't get the flu and a lot of people who do will survive without any issue,” noted Rillo. “But people less than two and greater than 65 have a higher chance getting really sick, and the problem is that it spreads so easily. So the goal in immunization is really to cut out the epidemics.”
In this line of thought, the importance of getting a flu shot is not so much for the individual, but for the community as a whole––and, in particular, those must susceptible to being severly impacted by the virus.
According to the CDC, last year 57 percent of individuals 17 and younger received vaccinations while only 41 percent those 18 years and older were immunized. For health professionals that number jumps to about 80 percent, and for physicians the percentage is 90.
Rillo said that these numbers are a step up from historical rates, but that there is still much room for improvement.
“If you have contact with people you should be immunized and you should do it now,” he said. “Not before you get your first cough because then it's too late.”
Thrifty White has pledged to give one dollar back to the community for every single flu immunization given at the following locations on Tuesday, October 29. All flu shots at these locations will be administered by members of the Granite Falls Ambulance.
•Prairie's Edge Casino Resort, Convention Center Dakota Room –– noon to 7:00 p.m.
•Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Room 305 –– noon to 4:30 p.m.
•Kilowatt Community Center, Community Room –– 9:00 a.m. to noon
•YME High School, Board Room (east entrance) –– noon to 4:30 p.m.
•Thrifty White Pharmacy –– Monday thru Friday 8:30 to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 to 3:00 p.m.
*Shots are also available at the Granite Falls ACMC clinic.