Flu shots available

Published 12:20 am Monday, September 21, 2020

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Polk partners launch “Ask Me” campaign about flu vaccines

POLK COUNTY—Polk County and area partners are encouraging residents to get the flu vaccine with a new awareness campaign called “Ask Me.” 

Signs have been popping up around the county from the Polk County Health and Human Services Agency and other community partners, including St. Luke’s Hospital and local medical providers. 

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Polk County has partnered with St. Luke’s, Blue Ridge Community Health Center-Polk, Columbus Medical Associates, Foothills Pharmacy as well as others on the campaign. The campaign is aimed to encourage people to learn more about why, how and where to get the annual flu vaccine.
“This year’s flu vaccine awareness is even more important due to COVID-19,” Polk County Health and Human Services Agency Director Joshua Kennedy said. “As we try to keep the community healthy and moving forward, we want to encourage everyone to seek out information regarding getting your flu shot from one of the many community partners who are offering flu vaccines this year. It is one of the simplest and easiest things we can do as a community to keep ourselves, our families and our community healthy while we try to overcome the challenges faced with COVID-19.”

Health officials say protecting yourself also protects those who are unable to receive the vaccine because of compromised immune systems or other health issues. 

Being vaccinated also can help people to avoid missing work and school.
According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year. During 2018-2019, flu vaccinations prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses, 2.3 million influenza-associated medical visits, 58,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 3,500 influenza-associated deaths, Polk health officials said.
The CDC encourages all individuals 6 months of age and older to get their flu shot as the first step for protection against the virus. 

Flu vaccines are available now in various locations locally. 

People are encouraged to call ahead to ask about getting a flu vaccine, with local options including Blue Ridge Health-Polk, St. Luke’s Hospital and their network of physician practices, Columbus Medical Associates, Foothills Pharmacy, CVS and other locations regionally. Visit the Polk Health and Human Services Agency Facebook page at www.facebook.com/polkncpublichealth/ for updates.
For more information about the coronavirus and to read the latest guidance on keeping yourself and others safe and where to get tested, visit www.polknc.orgwww.ncdhhs.govhttps://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/covid-19-testing-locations or call the Polk County Message Line at (828) 722-5086.