The annual countywide flu immunization clinic is set for Friday at Hope Fair Park Coliseum , according to Jeannine Wilson, director of the Hempstead County Health Unit.
Wilson said immunizations will cover several strains of flu this year, which makes obtaining a flu shot particularly important for young children, people age 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with particular kinds of health conditions, such as heart, lung, or kidney disease, or weakness of the immune system.
“This year's vaccine will include several vaccines in one for several strains of flu,” she said.
“Flu vaccine is especially important for these people, and anyone who is in close contact with them,” according to a Health Department announcement.
Wilson said the immunizations are important for everyone.
“Contrary to popular belief, pregnant women can take the flu shot without harming the fetus,” she said. “This year's vaccine contains two strains of Type A and one strain of Type B. Ages two through 49 can receive the nasal mist if they so desire. Children from six months old and up can also be vaccinated.”
Immunizations will be administered from 9 a. m.-5 p.m. at the coliseum, and health workers will provide immunizations in vehicles outside the coliseum for those individuals who cannot go inside the building.
“We ask that people bring their Medicaid, Medicare, or insurance card with them when they come,” Wilson said.
There are two types of flu vaccine. If you get a shot, you are getting an inactivated flu vaccine, which does not contain any live influenza virus. A different, live, weakened influenza vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils as a mist.
The flu vaccine is recommended every year, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Children six months through eight years of age should get two doses the first year they get vaccinated, according to ADH. It takes about two weeks for protection to develop after the vaccination, and protection lasts several months to a year.
Wilson also recommended taking common sense precautions when around anyone with the flu, and engage in regular hand washing.