Hit flu with your best shot

first_imgLynnette Pickup, a nurse manager at Sea Mar Community Health Center, displays a new flu vaccine offered at the Vancouver clinic Friday. The quadrivalent vaccine protects against two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B. Traditional flu vaccines protect against three flu strains. o What: For one day, Sea Mar Community Health Center will waive its administration fee and provide free and low-cost flu vaccines to Clark County residents.o When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11.o Where: Sea Mar Community Health Center, 7410 Delaware Lane, Vancouver.o Cost: Free for children 2 to 18 years; $9.65 for adults.The warm sunshine has been replaced with cloudy skies and rain. Kids’ care-free days are now school-filled days. Those changes don’t only mark the end of summer, but also the beginning of flu season.In addition to getting flu shots, health officials recommend these everyday practices to reduce the chance of catching or spreading the flu:o If you are sick with flulike illness, stay home and limit contact with others.o Cough or sneeze into your arm or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.o Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.o Avoid close contact with sick people.o Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.And every new flu season prompts the same old advice from health care providers: Get a flu shot.Vaccines are now available at medical clinics and pharmacies across Clark County. And as doctors and nurses gear up for immunization clinics, health officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated now — not later.“Some people delay getting a flu shot in the mistaken belief that vaccine effectiveness will wear off before winter, when flu season typically ramps up,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer. “Actually, you are better off getting the vaccine as soon as it’s available because flu season starts early some years.”o Last year, only about 47 percent of Washington residents got a flu shot, according to the Washington Department of Health. The state’s goal is to have an 80 percent immunization rate by 2020.last_img read more