County hosting flu shot clinic

The Coconino County Health Department will have a flu clinic here on Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Rec Center.

To make an appointment, call the Coconino County Health Department at 928-522-7814 or toll free at 1-877-522-7800. The cost for a flu shot is $20. Pneumonia vaccinations will be available for $30.

The CCHD accepts AHCCCS, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and Medicare. Vaccinations are free for children age 18 and under. No one will be denied service due to inability to pay.

Flu vaccinations are recommended for over 73 percent of the population. In general, anyone who wants to reduce the chance of getting the flu should get vaccinated. However, certain people should get vaccinated each year either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for high-risk persons. Those considered at high risk for serious flu complications are the elderly, young children and people with certain health conditions. Pneumonia vaccinations are also strongly encouraged for people over age 65 or who have chronic illnesses.

People who should get vaccinated each year are:

• Children aged six months to five years

• Adults aged 50 years and older

• People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions

• Pregnant women

• Residents of nursing homes, long-term care facilities and dormitories

• Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than six months

• Health-care workers

• Household contacts of person at high risk for complications from the flu

• Anyone who wants to be protected against the flu

There are 226,000 people hospitalized in the United States each year with the flu and an estimated 34,000 deaths annually. Up to 80 percent of all deaths from influenza can be prevented with a flu shot, according to the CDC. The Coconino County Health Department strongly recommends the flu vaccination. Even if a vaccinated person still catches the flu, the vaccine generally makes the illness much less severe and can prevent lower respiratory tract involvement or other complications.

In addition to getting a flu shot, good health habits will help you stay well. These simple actions can stop the spread of germs and help protect you and others from getting sick:

• Wash your hands frequently during the flu season.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Cover your mouth with a tissue or your upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

• Don't share eating utensils, cups, straws, and toothbrushes.

• Stay home when you are sick.

For more information, call the Coconino County Health Department at 928-522-7814 or toll-free 1-877-522-7800.

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