VNA urges flu vaccinations | SteamboatToday.com

VNA urges flu vaccinations

Association kicks off annual flu shot campaign Monday

Alexis DeLaCruz

Ellen Carlson, right, gets her annual flu shot from nurse Wendy Bower at the offices of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday afternoon. The VNA kicked off its annual flu shot campaign on Monday.

— We all know how it begins.

A co-worker’s sneeze turns into a high-five, which gets passed onto a spouse and then the children get sick and all of a sudden everyone is on the couch miserable and suffering from the flu.

In an attempt to curb the number of flu cases hitting the Yampa Valley this year, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association kicked off its annual flu shot campaign Monday, encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.

“October to December is typically flu shot season, since we see people getting sick as early as October,” said Suzi Mariano, the VNA’s public information coordinator.

Getting vaccinated against the flu is just as important as remembering to wash hands with soap and hot water and keeping household surfaces disinfected from germs and bacteria, she said.

Last year the VNA administered more than 3,000 inoculations in Routt and Moffat counties, she said.

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The VNA expects to vaccinate just as many, if not more, people this year.

In order to reach as many people as possible, the VNA has set up dozens of drop-in flu shot clinics. Most of the October clinics in Steamboat Springs will be at the VNA’s office on Central Park Drive. Clinics are available for adults older than 18, adults with children and Spanish-speaking residents, she said.

Clinics will continue in November and December.

Mariano suggested people check the VNA’s Web site for updated clinic schedules.

“It’s a very typical campaign for us,” she said. “We’re trying to accommodate as many schedules as we can.”

The VNA advises people get their flu shots before they – or people around them – start getting sick, she said.

Typical symptoms of flu include high fever, headache, extreme fatigue, dry mouth, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches and stomach symptoms, she said. The virus can spread through coughing, sneezing or touching something that has the virus on it, she said.

Shots are $22 for adults, $14 or less for children and $25 for the Intra Nasal Flu Mist, she said.

In addition to the VNA flu clinics, the South Routt Medical Center is again putting on its annual flu shot clinic for South Routt residents. The clinics will be from 10 a.m. to noon Monday and from 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 25. Cost is $20 cash or $31 to bill insurance. Call 736-8118 for more information.

-To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com