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Wed, Oct. 16

Flu shots available locally on Monday
County to host flu vaccination clinic on Oct. 11

Beginning Monday, flu shots will be available by appointment at the Williams Health Care Center, 301 S. Seventh St.

The Coconino County Health Department will also be offering flu shots for $20 in Williams on Oct. 11. Two clinics will be offered that day. Shots can be obtained 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Williams Senior Center, 850 W. Grant Ave. and from 2-4 p.m. at the Williams Elementary-Middle School, 601 N. Seventh St.

Flu (influenza) is an illness caused by a virus. It causes fever, body aches and cough, and can lead to pneumonia. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year, approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die from flu and its complications. There is a safe and effective vaccine available against the flu.

People who are at high risk of complications should receive the flu vaccine. This includes: children 6 months-4 years of age; people 50 years of age and older; pregnant women; residents of nursing homes; those with heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease; and, anyone with a weakened immune system because of illness or medications.

Anyone who lives with or takes care of someone who has a high risk of complications should be vaccinated (this includes parents of young children and daycare workers). All healthcare workers should be vaccinated. However, anyone who does not want to get sick should also be vaccinated.

The flu virus changes every year, so a new vaccine is necessary to assure immunity from this year's strain.

The vaccine itself is not live - it cannot give you the flu. However, if you were exposed before you had a chance to make sufficient antibodies, then you could develop the flu even if you were vaccinated. Also, the flu vaccine can protect you from the influenza virus, but it does not make you immune to the numerous other viruses that are around at this time of year.

Serious reactions to flu vaccine are extremely rare.

Those that have received a vaccination might experience a low-grade fever or body aches and some redness, soreness, or swelling at the site of the vaccine. This lasts only a day or two.

Those wanting a flu vaccine should be vaccinated in October or November. It takes about two weeks to build up full antibody protection, and flu season generally seems to start around November.

To learn more, check with your health care provider or visit the Centers for Disease Control's Web site at

www.cdc.gov.

To make an appointment for the county's clinic offering flu shots on Oct. 11, call (928) 522-7814.

Beginning Monday, vaccinations will be given by appointment at the Williams Health Care Center.

To reserve your spot, call (928) 635-4441.

(Editor's note: WHCC Manager Cindy Christman contributed to this article).

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