Howard County flu vaccinations set Sept. 26

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    The Howard County Health Unit will participate in Arkansas’s statewide influenza vaccination project.

    On Thursday, Sept. 28, the unit, located at 201 E. Hempstead St., Nashville, will offer flu vaccinations from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Participants should bring insurance cards. Persons who do not have insurance, or whose insurance does not cover the vaccination, will be able to get the shots without charge.

    “We want Howard County residents to stay healthy this flu season, and getting a yearly flu vaccination is the best line of protection,” Donna Webb, Howard County Health Unit administrator said. “We encourage everyone to come to the mass clinic or the local health unit to get their flu shot.”

    Even though new observations about the flu vaccine continue to be made, experts still recommend annual flu vaccinations for children and adults. The flu virus changes from year to year, and this year’s vaccine protects the flu viruses that are expected to cause the most illness this flu season.

    “The flu shot should not be taken lightly,” said Dirk Haselow, MD, State Epidemiologist at the Arkansas Department of Health. “We are encouraging every one to get a flu shot to protect themselves and their families, because it is hard to predict in advance how severe the flu season is going to be this year.”

    The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu, he said. Some people may have mild soreness and redness at the site of the shot, and a low fever or slight headache. There are very few medical reasons to skip the flu vaccine. These include life-threatening allergic reactions to a previous dose of the flu vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine. People with allergies to vaccine ingredients can often receive the vaccine safely if it is given in a doctor’s office where they can be monitored.