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Free flu shots October 8 in St. Charles County

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The St. Charles County Department of Public Health will partner with several area organizations to provide free flu shots for those ages 6 months and older during a vaccination clinic from 2-7 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 8 in the College Center building at St. Charles Community College, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in Cottleville.

Two types of vaccinations will be offered:

  • Quadrivalent influenza vaccination – Protects against the four most prevalent flu viruses expected this season: H1N1, H3N2 and two influenza B viruses. It is appropriate for those ages 6 months and older.
  • High-dose influenza vaccination – Provides additional protection for those ages 65 and older. It contains four times the amount of antigen than the traditional vaccine to boost the body’s ability to create antibodies against the illness.

Appointments are necessary for this flu clinic and can be scheduled online at https://bit.ly/SCCFluFighters or by calling 636-928-WELL (9355). In accordance with Community College policy, individuals within all indoor public spaces on campus must wear a mask or other face covering, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

Why Get a Flu Vaccination?

“An annual flu vaccination offers an individual the best opportunity to strengthen the immune system against influenza,” says Sara Evers, Acting Director of the Department of Public Health. “Those who get a flu vaccination are much less likely to get the flu and miss school or work, or — if they do become infected — they are more likely to experience minimal symptoms and avoid dangerous complications that severe flu illness may cause.”

Additionally, as it takes approximately two weeks for vaccine antibodies to develop after the vaccination, the Department of Public Health recommend getting a flu shot now before the traditional flu “season” begins. Flu season typically runs from November through spring in our region.

Flu vaccines have a long track record for effectiveness. In seasons where the flu vaccine does match circulating viruses, the shot has prevented millions of illnesses across the United States and reduced the number of medical visits by 40 to 60 percent. Additional studies show that vaccination reduces the risk for serious flu complications by more than 50 percent and the risk for flu-related death by 31 percent. Along with protecting the recipient, vaccination reduces the risk for illness in the entire community — including those who are not able to receive the shot due to age, health conditions or other restrictions.

Community Partners

“Individuals and organizations throughout this community take pride in coming together to help others,” Evers notes. “We appreciate the support from St. Charles County’s healthcare, education, and other organizations in providing this flu shot clinic at no cost to our residents.”

Assisting the Department of Public Health with this vaccination event are BJC Health Care (Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Progress West Hospital), SSM Health (St. Joseph Hospitals in St. Charles, Lake Saint Louis, and Wentzville), St. Charles Community College, St. Charles County CAPS, and the St. Charles County Ambulance District. Individuals or groups interested in assisting with the event operations as a volunteer or as a sponsor should contact St. Charles County Emergency Planner Nick Kohlberg at 636-949-7554 before September 24.

Additional Ways to Prevent the Flu

For those unable to participate in this free event, the St. Charles County Immunization Clinic will administer flu vaccinations throughout the season by appointment at 1650 Boones Lick Road in St. Charles. Flu shots through the clinic are $36 for the quadrivalent vaccine and $62 for the high-dose vaccine. To schedule an appointment, call 636-949-1857.

Individuals also can protect themselves against catching and spreading the flu by:

  • Avoiding close contact with others, especially ones who are sick.
  • Covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Washing hands regularly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Cleaning commonly touched surfaces with soap and water or an EPA-approved disinfectant .
  • Staying home if sick until fever and symptoms are gone for at least 24 hours.
  • Practicing good health habits – including proper sleep, nutrition, exercise and hydration.

For more information and tips on preventing the flu, visit sccmo.org/flu and cdc.com/flu.

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