COVINGTON, Ga. — Piedmont Newton Hospital will host its fifth annual free "drive-through" flu shot clinic Oct. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hospital employees will be administering 200 flu shots on a first come, first served basis in the parking lot at the corner of Newton Drive and Dearing Street. Those wishing to receive a vaccination during the "‘drive-through" clinic are encouraged to arrive early.
“Receiving an annual flu vaccination is the best way to help prevent contracting the flu,” said Dr. Norris Little, chief medical officer at Piedmont Newton Hospital. “We will be providing 200 free flu shots to individuals age 12 and older during our event, but we recommend that everyone six months and older receives a flu shot.”
Those who cannot make the event are encouraged to book an appointment for a flu shot with their primary care physician, at a Piedmont QuickCare or Piedmont Urgent Care by WellStreet location.
One major difference between this flu season and last is there is now a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine available. Everyone who is able should get both shots.
In the context of the ongoing COVID pandemic, it is especially important to get the flu shot. The CDC no longer recommends a waiting period between the flu shot and the COVID shot.
"So, if you plan to receive the COVID vaccine close to Oct. 22, you can still receive the flu shot at the drive-through clinic. In fact, while we are not able to offer the COVID vaccine at this particular event, the COVID and flu shots could even be given on the same day," a news release stated..
There’s one major way to help avoid becoming seriously ill with these respiratory viruses — vaccination.
“A flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting against flu,” Little said. “The flu shot has been proven to reduce cases of the flu and if you do still contract the flu virus, you’ll likely have milder symptoms and a lower risk of hospitalization and death.”
The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses that have very similar symptoms, but the two illnesses are caused by different viruses and are treated differently.
Some of the most common symptoms seen with both flu and COVID-19 are fever, sore throat and cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, runny nose, headache and body aches or muscle soreness. Those with symptoms of flu or COVID-19 should call a doctor’s office or schedule a virtual visit as soon as possible.
“Using preventative measures like washing your hands, wearing a mask in public and watching your distance remain important,” Little said. “We are requesting that anyone planning to attend the drive-through flu shot clinic wear a mask to reduce the risk of spreading germs to others.”
For more information on the benefits of receiving a flu vaccination or to schedule an appointment online to receive a flu shot, visit www.piedmont.org/flu.