With flu season just around the corner local health officials are urging the public to go and get their flu vaccination early. But living in rural Southeast Alaska many locals know it’s not always as easy as going to the nearest Safeway or Costco, and with state cuts made last year to adult subsidized flu immunizations, availability can be limited.
To help alleviate the problem, the Wrangell hospital will be holding a onetime only adult flu immunization clinic this week. The entire community is encouraged to attend the clinic and get their flu shot. Janet Buness is the head of the emergency preparedness and planning committee and works in infection control at the hospital. Buness says it’s important for people of all ages to get their flu vaccination.
“The flu is very prevalent in the state of Alaska especially for elderly people; it can be a very serious illness. But there is an encouragement out there that really everyone gets a flu shot. That really helps cut down on the transmission of the flu from one person to the next,” she says.
Along with supplying low cost flu shots to the community, Buness says this is a chance for the Local Emergency Preparedness and Planning Committee to hold their annual emergency disaster drill. She says this year they’re practicing a mass dispensing drill and how it would be done in Wrangell in the event of a community wide emergency.
“We’re going to be able to use this immunization clinic as a good chance for us to see what it is really like in the community when we have basically four hours to immunize hundreds of people. So it’s going to be a drill for the hospital personnel and volunteers. A lot of the people coming are going to be volunteers from the community. We really want to encourage people to come, and a really good chance for people to get their flu shot,” she says.
The flu immunization clinic will be Friday September 16th and will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Harbor Lights Assembly of God Church basement. Flu vaccinations are $25 per adult, and insurance will be accepted to cover the vaccinations. Buness adds you can still go to Tideline Clinic for a flu vaccination.
© Copyright, Wrangell Radio Group