ST. GEORGE — Health departments in Southwest Utah and Southern Nevada are providing opportunities to their communities to conveniently obtain flu shots as flu season is now underway.
Although everyone should receive a flu vaccine, the Southwest Utah Public Health Department notes, it is important that anyone who is more susceptible to complications from flu get vaccinated. These include those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or respiratory conditions. In addition, pregnant women and people who care for babies younger than 2 months old should also be vaccinated.
“Getting immunized as soon as vaccine is available ensures that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is at its highest,” the Southern Nevada Health District notes on its webpage. “Vaccination before December is best, however, as long as flu viruses are still spreading in the community, immunizations can provide protective benefit.”
“When flu vaccine arrived during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, we were ready,” said Paulette Valentine, Southwest Utah’s public health emergency preparedness and response director. “We had just finished our seasonal Flu Shoot-out where we try to give as many vaccines as possible in a short period of time. This helps us prepare for mass distribution of medicine and supplies in case of an actual health emergency, so when the H1N1 vaccine came in we were able to get it to our community quickly and efficiently.”
People who have allergies to any of the flu vaccine’s components, who have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome or are feeling ill should talk to their doctor before getting a flu shot. More information is available on the CDC website.
Below are scheduled opportunities to obtain flu vaccines.
Southwest Utah Public Health Department
Flu Shoot-outs by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department are scheduled throughout the department’s five-county region.
There is no charge to those presenting acceptable proof of insurance in most cases; these include the insurers Aetna, DMBA, Healthy Premier, Medicaid, Medicare (depending on HMO plan), PEHP, SelectHealth, Tall Tree, or United Healthcare. Otherwise, the cost is $20 payable by cash, check or credit card.
Save time in the process by completing a consent form in advance. Wear a short-sleeved shirt.
Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Cedar City Health Fair in the concourse of Cedar City Hospital, 1303 N. Main St.
Sept. 26 at Red Cliffs Mall, 1770 Red Cliffs Drive. The service will be drive-thru available for those 18 and older from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in the parking lot and walk-in available for all ages noon-5 p.m. in the center court of the mall.
Oct. 7 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Escalante Fire Station, 215 N. Center St.
Oct. 7 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Kane County Health Fair at Kanab High School, 59 E. Cowboy Drive.
Oct. 11 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 1090 North Main St.
Oct. 17 from 2-4 p.m. at Minersville City Hall, 60 West Main.
Oct. 19 from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Panguitch Fire Station, 25 S. 200 St.
Oct. 23 from 1-4 p.m. at Ruby’s Inn, 26 South Main St.
This year, the Southern Nevada Health District is offering the quadrivalent, or four-strain, vaccine as well as the high-dose immunization for people 65 and older.
There is no charge to those presenting acceptable proof of insurance in most cases. Not all immunizations are covered by insurance. Contact the Health District’s immunization clinic for information and current fee schedule. For more information visit the district immunization program’s Flu Vaccine Clinic webpage or call the clinic at telpehone 702-759-0850.
Mesquite Public Health Center
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 am.-noon and from 1-4:30 p.m. (arrive by 4 p.m. to allow time for processing) throughout the flu season at the Mesquite Public Health Center, 830 Hafen Lane, Mesquite, Nevada.
Mesquite Senior Center
Thursday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Mesquite Senior Center, 102 W. Old Mill Road, Mesquite, Nevada. There is no charge to those presenting acceptable proof of insurance in most cases.
Ed. note: Analysis of viewpoints concerning immunizations is beyond the scope of this article.