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Free flu vaccines offered

Flu season is upon us, and Suffolk residents can prepare themselves with free flu vaccinations in the coming weeks.

Influenza is highly contagious. The virus can be transmitted even before flu-like symptoms like fever, sore throat and fatigue appear.

Anyone over 6 months old should be vaccinated annually, especially those that have a higher risk of flu-related complications. This includes patients who are pregnant or over 65 years of age and those with chronic heart and lung conditions or other serious medical conditions.

According to local health emergency coordinator John Cooke, the flu vaccines that will be provided this Saturday will be an exercise for staff to provide hundreds of vaccinations in a single day.

Anyone interested just needs to arrive while supplies last, fill out the proper paperwork and be comfortable with a shot. No health insurance or payment is required.

“We are exercising our ability to give mass vaccinations to anyone,” Cooke said. “Anybody who’s willing to come and get a flu shot can come and participate.”

Approximately 300 flu vaccine doses will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at the ODU Tri-Cities Center on University Boulevard in North Suffolk. Call 514-4766 for more information.

In addition, Sentara Obici Hospital, 2800 Godwin Blvd., will hold its annual, free drive-through flu shot clinic from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 7. Call 934-4621 for more information.

Bon Secours Health Center on Harbour View Boulevard will also have a free drive-through flu shot clinic from 8 to 11 a.m. Oct. 14. Call 889-2273 for more information.