Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital, with financial support from the Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital Foundation, will be holding the annual free flu vaccination clinics again this year.
A total of 1,500 doses of vaccine (1,200 injectable doses and 300 intranasal doses) will be made available to anyone age 3 and above on a first-come, first-served basis at two separate clinics – one in El Dorado and the other in Augusta.
“We feel that offering the vaccinations at no cost in early November is extremely beneficial to a very large number of people, especially families with kids. By offering the vaccines at this time, immunity will be in place before the Thanksgiving holiday season when families gather together and travel, and should last throughout the entire flu season” said Janet Frey, director of Infection Prevention. The clinic in El Dorado will be held at Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital on Oct. 27 from 8 until 10 a.m., and the Augusta clinic will be held on Nov. 3 from 8 until 10 a.m. at the Augusta United Methodist Church.
Because the clinics are on a firstcome, first-served basis, there is usually a large line at the beginning of the clinics. However, hospital staff want people to understand the line moves relatively quickly at both locations. Intranasal doses are available again this year and will be made available to persons aged 3 – 49. SBA hopes large families realize the benefits provided through the vaccine. Having one child home with the flu can put a great financial and/or emotional strain on parents who then have to stay home from work, or make arrangements for childcare. And, often times, the flu spreads throughout a family causing multiple days off from work. There are other groups who benefit by receiving the vaccine. Persons taking care of young children or the elderly benefit by helping stop the spread of the flu virus. Also benefiting from the vaccinations would be people working in high-density workplaces, such as large retail or grocery stores, or people who are expecting visitors, or are expecting to travel for the holiday seasons.
“We hope that making these vaccinations available at no cost will help our community take care of themselves and their families,” said Gayle Arnett, president and CEO of Susan B. Allen. “We think it’s very important for us to make preventative care available to as many as possible.
“This project has been well received by many people who might not have received the seasonal flu vaccination over the past few years, and we feel this is a great benefit for everyone in the communities we serve.”
For more information about the influenza clinics, contact Janet Frey, Infection Prevention practitioner, at 321-3300, or Gene Kimble, director of Marketing, at 322-4543.