VNA to help residents beat flu bug

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— Cheriene Marchus doesn't feel quite as robust as she used to during the winter.

She never thought flu shots did much for her. But after last winter's bout of sickness, she thought she should get the vaccine this year.

"I just don't feel quite as strong," said Marchus, a receptionist at the county commissioners office. "I normally don't get a flu shot because I didn't think it helped."

The Visiting Nurse Association distributed flu shots to Routt County employees Thursday morning at the county's annex building.

The VNA had received only 50 percent of its annual distribution of influenza vaccinations as of Wednesday, but Pam Nettleton said the remainder should arrive sometime in December.

Flu shots are available to the general public today, Monday, Tuesday and Dec. 7.

Only those who make an appointment with the VNA by calling 870-1616 will receive the $15 shots.

Nettleton, a VNA public health nurse, said by 11 a.m. Thursday only 50 county employees had visited the conference room to receive their annual flu shot.

Nettleton said the reason VNA has received only 50 percent is due to complications with the manufacturer.

"We'll give shots until that's gone," Nettleton said of the limited supply. "We've planned for more than we have had in the past."

Last year, the VNA distributed 2,696 flu shots. As of Wednesday, VNA had administered 492 flu shots.

VNA distributes fall flu shots to high risk patients first including people 65 and older and those with cardiovascular, respiratory diseases or other chronic illnesses.

Nettleton said VNA tries to provide flu shots at offsite clinics for large groups of people such as Routt County employees.

The vaccination actually is the killed influenza virus injected into the left shoulder to help build immunities against various strains of influenza.

"This doesn't keep you well from every disease out there," Nettleton said of similar illnesses that resemble the flu but are not.

According to VNA, the vaccine begins to protect from the flu one to two weeks after the shot and can last up to a year.

The flu is most common in the United States between December and April.

Nettleton said some people will experience soreness where the shot is administered and feel a little under the weather, but serious illness from the vaccine is uncommon and people should contact a physician if necessary.

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