Sun, Oct. 25

County schedules influenza flu shots, prepares for COVID vaccine

VERDE VALLEY -- Yavapai County Community Health Services is gearing up for community influenza clinics, while at the same time working on plans for distributing the COVID vaccine once it’s approved.

YCCHS Nurse Supervisor Sally Slater is working with the Board of Supervisors to schedule community influenza flu clinics, explained Terri Farneti, YCCHS spokesperson.

Public health nurses will follow all CDC guidelines for the safety of everyone receiving a vaccine, and masks will be required,” she said.

“Our emergency management team is working on plans for the COVID vaccine. The COVID testing blitz was a good exercise to organize that scale of event,” Farneti explained.

Locally, there is a clinic scheduled in Verde Village Oct. 7; in the Village of Oak Creek Sept. 30; and in Rimrock at the Beaver Creek School Oct. 16.

The influenza season usually peaks between January and March, Farneti said, but there is an emphasis on influenza vaccinations because of COVID.

The Verde Valley experienced a bad influenza flu season last season just as the pandemic crisis was beginning to hit. The area was seeing two flu strains last season, influenza A and B.

Anyone 6 months and older and people at high-risk for flu-related complication should get an annual influenza shot by the end of October, she said.

“The Arizona Department of Health Services rolled out a flu-shot campaign “Roll Up Your Sleeve” in hopes of upping vaccinations and lowering the risk of strain on hospital systems as the coronavirus pandemic continues,” Farneti said.

The campaign encourages everyone to get the flu shot as soon as possible.

“Those at high-risk include: Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old; adults 65 and older; pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum); and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,” she said.

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