Free flu vaccines being offered in Pittsylvania County next weekend


    PITTSYLVANIA Co., Va. (WSET) -- The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District is offering free seasonal flu vaccines at a special dispensing clinic next weekend.

    The Virginia Department of Health said the vaccines will be available Saturday, October 27 from 4 - 8 p.m. at the 11th Annual Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office Trunk or Treat.

    The event will be at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex on Highway 29 in Chatham.

    A limited supply of free influenza vaccine will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The clinic will be next to the stage.

    "We’ve already documented cases of influenza this season in the area, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health recommend vaccination each year for everyone six months and older," said Scott J. Spillmann, MD, MPH, director, Pittsylvania-Danville District. "Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially severe complications, and this unique ‘drive-thru’ approach is proven to be a fast and efficient way to vaccinate a large number of people in a short time."

    According to the VDH, everyone six months or older should be vaccinated against influenza each year, especially those at higher risk for influenza complications, including:

    • Pregnant and postpartum women, or those who will be pregnant during the influenza season;
    • Persons over 65 years of age, including residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
    • People who have chronic lung or heart problems, including asthma; and
    • People who have other serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, anemia, cancer, weak immune systems (including those with HIV) or a seizure disorder.

    Each year in the U.S. approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized due to flu illness, and flu-related deaths range from 3,000 to 49,000 each year, averaging 24,000 per year over the last three decades.

    The CDC reported that last season there were approximately 80,000 flu related deaths in the United States.

    To minimize your risk of contracting or transmitting the flu, the VHD offers these simple steps:

    • Get vaccinated;
    • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds;
    • Cover your cough, either by using a disposable tissue or coughing into your sleeve, not your hand; and
    • Stay at home when you are sick.

    For more information, call the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District at 434-766-9828.

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