Free Flu Vaccinations Offered in Drive-through Clinic at Hilltop Mall
November 24, 2008
Fight the flu without even getting out of your car. Free flu vaccinations will be provided at the county´s first ever drive-through clinic 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 6 at Hilltop Mall in Richmond.
The flu kills about 36,000 people annually in the United States, but people can help protect themselves by getting vaccinated, said Erika Jenssen, Immunization Coordinator for Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), which is co-hosting the event with Hilltop Mall.
"We are encouraging everyone over the age of 6 months to get vaccinated against the flu to help protect themselves, their loved ones, their co-workers and their classmates," Jenssen said. "Getting vaccinated will help people be protected during the holidays and beyond. This will help everyone not give the gift of flu this season."
This is the first year that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also recommending that children ages 6 to 18 receive the flu vaccine because the illness spreads rapidly in school-age children. This age group also frequently comes into contact with people who are most at risk of suffering complications of the flu, such as younger siblings and grandparents. A person can be contagious 24 hours before they even have symptoms, which may include a headache, body aches, high fever and a dry cough.
Both shots and the nasal flu spray will be available and all ages are welcome. Everyone who can, should get vaccinated, Jenssen said. Women who are pregnant and people who are over 50 or have a chronic disease of the heart, lung or liver should get the shot. The nasal spray is a good alternative for healthy people who don´t like shots and are ages 2 to 49 and not pregnant. People with allergies to eggs shouldn´t get the flu vaccine because it contains egg products.
The December 6 clinic is also serving as a drill for CCHS and other county and city agencies to practice alternative methods of dispensing medication during a health emergency.
"The clinic gives us the opportunity to exercise the vaccination capabilities for use of the Strategic National Stockpile," said Kim Cox, CCHS Emergency Services Manager, referring to the stockpile of emergency medication distributed by the federal government. "Contra Costa County will be better prepared for a health emergency as a result of this drill."
The clinic is sponsored by CCHS and Hilltop Mall in conjunction with JCPenney, Contra Costa County Sheriff´s Office of Emergency Services, City of Richmond and the Richmond Police Department.
The clinic will be held in the JCPenney Parking Lot D, 2200 Hilltop Mall Road, Richmond. Vaccinations also will be provided to people who walk up to the clinic. People are asked not to bring their pets.
For more information on the drive-through clinic or flu vaccinations, visit cchealth.org or call 925-313-6469.
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