Someone giving a flu shot.

Rappahannock Area Health District Offers Free Flu Shots at State Fair

by | Sep 24, 2018 | Health & Wellness, News

The Virginia Department of Health’s Rappahannock Area Health District will offer free flu shots on Saturday, Sept. 29, beginning at 10 a.m. during the State Fair of Virginia at the Meadow Event Park. The flu clinic will take place in the Farm Bureau Center Exhibition Hall on Festival Loop. Only 500 doses of vaccine will be available, and will be offered to anyone 12 years and older on a first-come, first-served basis until 7 p.m. or until the supply of flu shots runs out.

Influenza, or “the flu,” is a contagious respiratory disease. Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and fatigue.

“Everyone age 6 months and older who doesn’t have a medical reason not to be immunized should be vaccinated for influenza annually,” said Brooke Rossheim, M.D., M.P.H., district director of the Rappahannock Area Health District. “Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially severe complications. This on-site clinic offers a fast and efficient way to vaccinate a large number of people in a short time.”

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 nursing home and long-term care facility residents;
  • People with chronic medical conditions including lung and heart problems, diabetes, kidney disease, liver 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 influenza illness. Influenza-related deaths range from 3,000 to 49,000 each year, averaging 24,000 per year over the last three decades.

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; and
  • Stay home when you are sick.

For more information, call the Rappahannock Area Health District at 540-899-4797 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/influenza.

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