UNION COUNTY — The Center for Human Development is encouraging Union County residents to get a flu shot in preparation for the upcoming flu season.
Nancy Davila, the center’s immunization coordinator, said even in a time of social distancing and health and safety measures due to COVID-19, getting the flu shot is necessary.
“If you are following the COVID-19 measures you are providing yourself with a layer of protection that also works to protect against the flu,” Davila said. “Getting a flu shot provides an extra layer of protection.”
Davila said there is no prediction yet for how the spread of influenza this fall and winter will trend until the season has begun. Similar to COVID-19 measures, she said, taking the step to get a flu shot helps prevent hospitals and health care workers from getting overwhelmed with patients.
“There is no COVID vaccine yet but there is a flu vaccine, and it can help keep people healthy,” she said.
Davila said everyone should get a flu shot, especially the elderly, young children and pregnant women, who are the most at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated 24,000-62,000 deaths from the flu in the United States during the 2019-20 flu season. A majority of these cases were of people from the most vulnerable populations.
Davila said the flu vaccine is safe and is made under strict protocols. She said it can take two to four weeks for the vaccine to provide protection against the flu, so the sooner you get the vaccine the better.
The Center for Human Development, based in La Grande, is in the process of organizing several flu clinic events, including drive-thru clinics to help with social distancing. Flu shots are also available at doctors’ offices and pharmacies.
“The most important thing to remember about getting the flu shot is the more often you get it, the more immunity you build,” Davila said.