Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital, with financial support from the Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital Foundation, will be offering their annual free flu vaccination clinics again this year to anyone over the age of 3.
Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital, with financial support from the Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital Foundation, will be offering their annual free flu vaccination clinics again this year to anyone over the age of 3. A total of 1,500 doses of vaccine (1,150 injectable doses and 350 intranasal doses) will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis at two separate clinics – one in El Dorado and the other in Augusta.
“We’re very excited that we’re able to offer these flu vaccinations early in the season this year. This program is such a huge benefit for so many people, especially families with kids. By offering the vaccines at this time, families and individuals can get immunized well before the Thanksgiving holiday season when families gather together,” said Janet Frey, director of Infection Prevention at Susan B. Allen.
The clinic in El Dorado will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. Oct. 18 at SBA Memorial Hospital and the clinic in Augusta will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. Nov. 1 at the Augusta United Methodist Church. Because the clinics are on a first-come, first-served basis, there is usually a large line at the beginning of the clinics. However, hospital staff want everyone to understand the line moves relatively quickly.
The hospital will be offering three different types of doses this year. Intranasal doses (FluMist) are available again this year and will be made available to persons aged 3 – 49. Intradermal (ID) doses have small needles and are injected just under the skin. These doses are being made available to persons age 18 – 64. The intramuscular (IM) doses are the “normal” flu shot, and will be available for persons age 3 and above. This year, Susan B. Allen made the decision to purchase quadrivalent vaccine in the intranasal (FluMist) and intramuscular vaccines, providing protection against four common strains of influenza. The intradermal vaccine will continue to be the trivalent formulation, covering three strains of influenza, with the benefit being a much smaller needle used for administration.
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, students – including college students, and 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.”
The free flu vaccination clinics are a joint project between Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital and the Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital Foundation. If you would like information about how you might help the hospital provide similar projects, contact Keri Myers, director of development, at 316-321-8741. For more information about the influenza clinics, contact Janet Frey, Infection Prevention practitioner at 316-321-3300, ext. 2205, or Gene Kimble, director of marketing, at 316-322-4543.