Healthy shot in the arm

Published 10:31 pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013

As far as I know, I have never had the flu — crossing my fingers.

I think part of that is luck, a healthy immune system and the fact that I try to get the flu shot every year. Although, I didn’t start getting the flu shot until I was an adult. I started getting one because it seemed like a good idea and, honestly, it was convenient.

My employer at the time had a health fair every October and part of the event was free flu shots for employees. All I had to do was walk down the hall from my desk, roll up my sleeve and brace for the impending shot. Simple as that.

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Now that it is not quite as convenient for me, my annual flu shots haven’t been all that regular. Calling them biennial might be a better way to describe them. Last fall, I neglected to get a flu shot and got quite sick in early January. I am not sure if there is any connection — or if that was actually the flu — but I am not taking any chances this year.

On the heels of a record flu season last year, Bon Secours Hampton Roads is making getting the immunization a little easier and cheaper. On Oct. 12 the health provider will offer free flu shots at its Harbour View and other locations for the first time.

Here comes the easy part. If you can grab lunch from a fast food drive-through, then you have time to get your flu shot. While supplies last, shots will be administered through car windows at Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View, 5818 Harbour View Blvd., from 8 a.m. to noon.

“We are offering the free flu shot, while supplies last, for the first time this year as part of our mission to serve uninsured and underinsured members of our community by making the vaccine more accessible,” said Kasey Fuqua, public relations coordinator for Bon Secours Hampton Roads.

Folks just need to show up and roll down their car window, she said. They also need to do some paperwork, which to speed up the process can be completed in advance at

“The more people in our community who get the shot, the less likely it is we’ll have a large outbreak this season,” Fuqua said.

A very limited supply of pediatric and infant doses will also be available, and the health system is encouraging folks to arrive as early as possible due to all doses being limited.