Sentara offers free flu shots

Published 12:08 am Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Sentara health system will offer free flu shots at two Suffolk locations Oct. 11.

From 8 a.m. to noon, adults age 18 and over can get vaccinated at Obici Hospital, 2800 Godwin Blvd., or at North Suffolk’s BelleHarbour, 3920 A Bridge Road. Sentara St. Luke’s, at 20209 Sentara Way in Carrollton, also will offer the shots.



“This is a great opportunity for people who wouldn’t otherwise get a flu shot,” Sentara spokeswoman Cheri Hinshelwood said.

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Michele Graupmann, emergency department nurse manager at BelleHarbour, said the facility usually sees flu or flu-like symptoms from October through May.

“The biggest time is usually from December to February,” she said.

Graupmann spoke about what is often called herd immunity: “You are preventing your elderly neighbor or that infant child in your family from getting flu symptoms or the flu itself,” she said.

“You are not only protecting yourself, you are protecting those that you are around.”

Sentara expects to provide about 1,100 vaccines at a total of nine locations around Hampton Roads on that day. That’s how many were given last year, according to the health system.

A trained clinical team will administer the drive-through shots. Shots will not be available to children. “We don’t usually do children, because their physician usually monitors them,” Graupmann said.

The flu vaccine lasts about six months, Hinshelwood said. “But getting it in October, it gives coverage from the peak time through the duration of flu season in our region,” she said.

Sentara is offering the shots as a service to the community, Graupmann said.