FLU CLINIC PHOTO (copy)

In a photo from 2020, a drive-thru clinic saw many cars within the first hour to receive a flu shot. In total, 234 people received a shot in the drive-thru clinic. The health department is planning to announce a date for a mass flu vaccination site soon.

It’s flu season again, and the St. Joseph Health Department is suggesting mid-to-late October as the ideal time to get the flu shot.

Connie Werner, health department clinic director, said while the Centers for Disease Control suggests mid-October, any time starting now to even after October is sufficient.

“Get a flu shot when you can, so if that is prior to October, if that’s after October because the flu shots are good through March or April of 2022, so it’s never too late to get a flu shot,” she said. “But to be optimal, try to get that full protection before the start of the peak of flu season.”

Werner said people can get the flu vaccine at the same time they get the COVID-19 shot.

“We want to make sure people are vaccinated for everything they need to be vaccinated against,” Werner said.

Last year’s flu season had record lows for cases, and Werner said that can be attributed to several things, including people being aware of social distancing, handwashing hygiene and wearing masks.

“One of the main reasons is that we had people being very strict about staying at home when they are sick,” Werner said.

The health department will not receive the flu vaccine for at least a couple of weeks, although individual pharmacies are administering the shot. The health department plans on doing a city-wide mass flu shot clinic sometime in October and will be announcing the date shortly.

Clayton Anderson can be reached at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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