Free flu shots next Saturday

Published 12:33 am Saturday, October 10, 2015

Get your flu shot on Saturday, Oct. 17 at one of four Bon Secours locations. Between the hours of 8 and 11 a.m., they will be administering free shots while members of the community remain within the comfort of their own cars.

Bon Secours hopes to “take down as many barriers as possible to get people to get a flu shot,” Zultanky said. Their thought is that by providing the community with a “convenient and inexpensive” way to prepare people for the flu season, more people will get their shots, Zultanky said.

Last year, the flu shot didn’t do as good of a job as it has in past years because the virus mutated, Zultanky said. “This year, we feel confident that it’s a better match,” she added of the researchers’ newly adjusted vaccine.

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But it’s not enough to simply get the shot. It’s important to take proper care of yourself by washing your hands, eating well, exercising, getting the proper amount of sleep each night and staying home from work or school when sick, Zultanky said. Those who receive the shot stand a better chance of suffering from a less severe case if they do get the flu, Zultanky said.

She added that the flu shot doesn’t actually make people sick but can cause muscle aches for up to 24 hours.

All vaccinations will be administered by nurses volunteering at the event in drive-through format. Dosages can be given to multiple customers per car, and anyone that is over 6 months of age is eligible for a shot, Zultanky said. While they offer both adult and child dosages, they do not offer the flu shot in spray form or offer the one designated specifically for people ages 65 and up.

Along with the Suffolk location, at 5818 Harbour View Blvd., shots will also be offered at locations in Portsmouth, Norfolk and Newport News, Zultanky said. Over the course of just a few hours they hope to administer more than 2,000 flu shots.

The organization has invested $50,000 in this event, Zultanky said. They originally charged $20 a shot when they first offered the shot in 2008, but as of last year, they began providing them to the community for free. “It’s a small amount of money to invest in a lot of people’s health,” she said.