The Loudoun County Health Department will offer free flu shots at the Sterling Community Center, 120 Enterprise Street, Sterling, Saturday, October 26, 2019, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Free flu shots will be offered to anyone 9 years and older on a first-come, first-served basis until 2:00 p.m. or until the supply of flu shots runs out. Only 400 shots will be available.
Influenza, or “the flu,” is a highly-contagious respiratory disease. Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and fatigue.
“Getting your flu vaccine is the best way to protect you, your family, friends and co‐workers from getting the flu,” said Loudoun County Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza. This event offers a fast and efficient way to vaccinate a large number of people in a short time.”
The vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of complications from the flu. These groups include:
- 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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that influenza has resulted in as many as 49 million illnesses, up to 960,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 79,000 deaths annually in the U.S. since 2010.
To minimize your risk of catching the flu and passing it on to others, follow these simple steps:
- Get a flu shot each year.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough by using a disposable tissue or coughing into your sleeve, not your hand.
- Stay home when you are sick.
These flu shots are being offered as part of a public health emergency exercise. The exercise simulates a mass vaccination event in which the health department and local agencies would work together so community members could be vaccinated efficiently during a time of emergency, such as a worldwide outbreak of influenza.
For more information about the flu, visit the Virginia Department of Health. For more information about the Loudoun County Health Department, visit loudoun.gov/health.
# # #