Health officials say flu shots remain as important as ever as the Covid-19 outbreak continues into another holiday season. Other countries around the world are reporting growing cases.
In an effort to protect as many people as possible from the flu, Lehigh Valley Health Network The annual flu shot clinic has announced dates for this fall.
On Nov. 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., LVHN will be offering free flu shots to those who drive to Dorney Park, 3830 Dorney Park Road, in South Whitehall. and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Hacktown Oaks, 3780 Hacktown Road, in Lower Nazareth Township; respectively. The clinic is open to adults and children six months and older.
Terry Berger, director of infection control and prevention at the Health Network, said the standard dose of the flu vaccine is given to people between the ages of six months and 64 years. She said those aged 65 and over will be given the maximum vaccination.
Health officials in Australia, which will experience the flu season before the United States, He reported the worst flu season in five years. Some health officials, Berger said, are predicting that the United States will experience a severe flu season this fall and winter.
Dr. Alex Benjamin, chief infection control officer for the Health Network, said getting the flu vaccine can reduce the risk of illness, hospitalization and death from influenza.
“Like other respiratory infections, influenza can be transmitted by people with the virus who have no symptoms, and if we don’t wear masks, as we have done in recent years, we could see an increase in transmission,” he said. “Therefore, we strongly encourage everyone to take up their responsibility to vaccinate.”
For those with a suspected or confirmed positive Covid-19 test, regardless of symptoms, routine vaccination should be postponed until they meet the criteria to end stigma, Benjamin added.
Patients participating in the clinic are not required to wear face masks. However, all Health Network doctors, nurses and staff who come into contact with patients in the vehicle and administer the vaccine will wear masks.
In addition, Health Network is partnering with local food banks and shelters to accept donations of non-expired, non-perishable food items at each drive session. A food donation is optional and not required to receive a shot.
Participating donors are advised to check the expiry date and bring only items that have not expired. Baby diapers, wipes, personal hygiene products and other hygiene items, as well as coffee grounds are also acceptable.
People are asked to read the vaccine information statement and bring a consent form. lvhn.org/flushot For everyone who gets a flu shot.
Over the past 24 years, Health Network’s Community Influenza Vaccination Campaign has provided more than 200,000 free flu shots. They collected more than 156,000 pounds of food for local food banks, the health network says.
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