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Drive-thru flu clinic to be offered at St. Joseph’s Hospital

BUCKHANNON – St. Joseph’s Hospital will hold drive-through flu clinics on Oct. 6 and Oct.19 and on Nov. 4 and Nov. 16.

The clinics will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. They will be held at the rear of the hospital property near the Pallotti Pavillion to avoid traffic congestion with the COVID testing site in front of the hospital. Drive up to the hospital and follow the directional signage to the right.

Two vaccines will be offered this year. The quadrivalent vaccine will guard against four strains of flu rather than the usual three and is available to those over the age of 12. These four-in-one vaccines will protect against two common Type A strains called H1N1 and H3N2, and the two distinct strains of Type B.

The high-dose FLUAD quadrivalent vaccine will be available for those over the age of 65. This vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen as the standard vaccine and may be of benefit for older adults.

There are no out-of-pocket expenses for those with a valid Medicare card. Cost for all others is $30 for the regular quadrivalent vaccine and $90 for the high dose FLUAD vaccine. For those with Medicare, please be prepared to show your card when registering for the vaccine. For those paying for the vaccine, cash or check will be accepted.

People should begin getting vaccinated soon after the flu vaccine becomes available in order to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. In the meantime, individuals are still at risk for getting the flu. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, so people are protected before flu begins spreading in their communities.

The vaccination is extremely important for young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, people with existing medical conditions, and people who are in contact with those at greatest risk. Vaccinations will be available at the clinic for anyone over the age of 12; for vaccinations for children under the age of 12, parents should contact their family physician.

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