Drive through to prevent the flu

Published 9:11 pm Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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As the seasons start changing from summer to fall, another season is coming as well — flu season.

With the threat of COVID-19 still present, nobody needs the threat of flu as well. That is why Bon Secours is offering a free drive-through flu shot event from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 3 at Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View, 5818 Harbour View Blvd.

“There are a lot of things right now that are not within our control,” said Dr. Jocelyn Ricasa, primary care and sports medicine physician with Bon Secours Medical Associates. “However, getting vaccinated against influenza is an easy way to actively help care for yourself and your community.”

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Patrons can drive up and get their flu shot and keep going without having to leave their car.

“Getting the flu shot decreases your personal risk of contracting the flu and decreases the severity of the flu if you do happen to get it,” said Ricasa. “It also decreases the overall burden on our health care system that occurs every year during flu season.”

This year, getting a flu shot is more critical than usual. With COVID-19 still here, the flu shot can help doctors diagnose and treat patients with symptoms that match both viruses.

“The flu shot decreases your risk of having simultaneous COVID-19 and influenza,” said Ricasa. “The shot also helps your physician differentiate between the flu and COVID-19 if you happen to develop any of the symptoms that these two viruses share, such as fever, cough and sore throat.”

Prevent the spread of both viruses by getting a flu shot through the Bon Secours drive-through event while supplies last.

“Please remember, it takes about two weeks for your body to appropriately arm itself with the protective antibodies that are developed after vaccination,” said Ricasa.