COVINGTON, Ga. — Piedmont Newton Hospital is encouraging those wanting a free flu shot to arrive early Thursday, Oct. 15, for its fourth annual "drive-through" flu shot clinic from noon to 2 p.m.
Hospital employees will be administering 300 flu shots to those age 15 and older on a first-come, first-served basis in the parking lot at the corner of Newton Drive and North Dearing Street, a news release stated.
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, M.D., chief medical officer at Piedmont Newton Hospital. “We will be providing 300 free flu shots to individuals age 15 and older during our event, but we recommend that everyone six months and older receive 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.
This year’s flu season, however, looks a little different than most, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but vaccine developers and other researchers and manufacturers are expediting the development of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
But there’s one major way to help prevent flu and that’s the flu shot.
“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 different viruses cause these two illnesses and they’re 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, a 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 are more important than ever,” Little said. “We are requesting that anyone planning to attend the drive thru 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.