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OHSU student Ashley Withan administers a flu shot Thursday morning while supervised by a Center for Human Development registered nurse. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Shots provide protection for a year
It is not too early to get a flu shot.
Connie Carter, a registered nurse with the Center for Human Development and the immunization coordinator for Union County, is making this point clear as the CHD’s annual flu vaccination campaign kicks into high gear.
The flu vaccinations now being given immunize each person for a year, Carter said. People receiving shots as a result do not have to worry about their immunization wearing off before flu season ends around late winter.
“You will be totally covered (for the 2013-14 flu season) if you receive a flu shot now,” Carter said.
Carter is encouraging people of all ages to take advantage of the opportunities the CHD is now providing for people in Union County to get flu shots.
The private insurance companies of those receiving the shots will be billed for the vaccinations. The cost for those who do not have insurance will be $20. Those who do not think they can afford a shot should come anyway.
“Nobody will be turned away,” said Andi Walsh, the CHD’s community relations, grants and emergency preparedness coordinator.
The CHD is also offering flu shots to all businesses in Union County. The CHD will come to businesses to provide flu shots, if they have at least 10 employees who will receive vaccinations.
People have the option of receiving a shot or a nasal mist spray. Most people the CHD vaccinates select the shot, Carter said. The mist spray is offered for those who feel uneasy about needles.
The nasal mist spray is available only to those age 2 through 49. Everyone older than 49 and women who are pregnant cannot receive the mist spray because it consists of a live form of the flu virus which has been weakened, Carter said.
The flu shots, which have a killed virus, protect people from at least three strains of the flu.
There is no guarantee that those receiving flu shots will not get the flu. However, those who have received shots and still get the flu are likely to have significantly less severe symptoms, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control.
Complications from the flu kill 20,000 Americans each year, according to the CDC, and cause 100,000 to be hospitalized.