Flu Myths...Busted!

There are so many myths about the flu and the flu shot all over the internet, so in preparation for the Drive Thru Mass Flu Shot Clinic at the Richland County Fire Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29, we’ve busted a few myths wide open.

Many people claim they avoid the flu shot because it makes them sick. However, flu shot vaccine does not contain any live virus, so it actually can’t make you sick with the flu. The vaccine contains inactivated virus, which means that once it’s in your body, your immune system can learn to respond to components of the virus, so that if you do come across the real flu virus, your body will be prepared. Because vaccines are designed to evoke an immune response, it is common to have injection site soreness or a slight fever, but these symptoms shouldn’t last long. The Vaccine Information Sheet, offered during your vaccination clinic visit, explains potential risks and reactions.

Some others say they don’t bother with the flu shot because it’s not effective. Though the vaccine isn’t 100% effective in avoiding the flu, it will help to avoid hospitalization should you contract influenza. Of the 68 cases of the flu last season in Richland County, 7 people were hospitalized for influenza. Getting the annual flu shot can help you minimize the risk of hospitalization and death.

If you’re considering skipping the flu shot this year because you exercise and eat healthy, reconsider your decision. The flu virus doesn’t discriminate, and even healthy people can become infected. The flu virus can be spread when a sick person sneezes, coughs or talks, or spread by surfaces shared by both sick and healthy people, like doorknobs in public, bathroom faucet handles, and shopping carts. You may lose income due to days off from work, or may face more serious consequences of the flu, such as hospitalization or death.

There are many reasons to get your flu shot this flu season. If you have questions or need help with the decision to get you and your family vaccinated again the flu, contact the Health Department at 406-433-2207.

The Richland County Health Department will be holding its annual drive-thru mass flu shot clinic at the Richland County Fire Hall in Sidney on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The Drive-Thru Clinic will serve adults only, and offers both regular and high-dose flu shots. No other shots will be given during the clinic. No COVID-19 vaccine will be given. No appointment is needed. Flu shots cannot be given to those who have animals in their vehicles. Children may be in the vehicle, but may not receive flu shots. Private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid will be billed for those who bring their insurance cards. Follow traffic signs to enter the Fire Hall from the north side.

Flu shots are available for those 6 months and older at the Richland County Health Department during normal clinic hours by appointment, from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. Additional clinic hours are the second Wednesday until 6 p.m., and the third Thursday of the month, from 1-4 p.m. by appointment. Check the Department Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RichlandCountyHealthDepartment for changes to regular clinic hours.

For further information or to inquire about group billing, contact the Richland County Health Department at 406-433-2207.


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