POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Southeastern Idaho Public Health has announced a free flu shot clinic. The vaccinations will be provided at a walk-in clinic from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, February 22 at the Pocatello-Chubbuck Senior Citizen Center, 427 N. 6th Avenue.
"The flu is widespread across Idaho and will likely last until spring," said Tracy McCulloch, Community Health Director with SIPH. "To protect you and your family from the flu, your best defense is the flu shot."
The free clinic was made possible thanks to a $1,000 donation from the Pocatello Fire Department. The department passed through a donation it had received from Albertson's.
"As Emergency Medical Service providers, we have seen how the flu has impacted our community and want to do something to help," said Kim Stouse, Community Education/Relations Specialist with the Pocatello Fire Department.
The Health District said it will provide the shots at no charge after the department's $1,000 donation is exhausted.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that infects 5 to 20 percent of the population every year. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and sometimes a cough and sore throat. Most people who get influenza recover after a few days, but some people may develop serious complications and even die.
Every year, the flu contributes to an estimated 36,000 deaths in the United States, along with more than 200,000 hospitalizations.
People who are especially vulnerable to complications of the flu include:
- Pregnant women,
- People 50 years of age and older,
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart or lung diseases,
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu.
Everyone over six months of age are recommended to get the flu vaccine. Along with the vaccine, people should follow these recommendations to protect themselves and others:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to prevent infecting other people. Avoid people who appear sick.
- Stay home from work or school when sick,
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after being out in the public. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you have washed your hands.
- Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of liquids, eat nutritious foods and take part in physical activity to stay healthy.
For more information, contact Southeastern Idaho Public Health at 208-233-9080.