Free flu clinic set for Tuesday

Hundreds of people wait in line to receive their flu vaccinations at a past clinic at the Veterans Memorial Building.

Health department offers limited supply of vaccine

The San Benito County Public Health Department will host a free seasonal flu vaccine clinic on Jan. 8, from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial Building, 649 San Benito Street, in Hollister.

“For this flu clinic we have limited resources so we have been encouraging the community to obtain flu vaccinations through their own medical care home, like doctors and clinics,” said Samela Perez, the public information officer for the Public Health department.

In past years, a flu clinic has been held in the fall and the quantities of vaccinations available was much higher than what is available this year.

Perez said the January clinic is meant to be a “supplement” for those families who have not been able to get seasonal flu vaccinations from other sources.

Vaccinations will be available for residents six months of age and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the seasonal flu vaccination for everyone who is at least six months old. It is especially recommended for people who are at risk of developing serious complications such as pneumonia, including:

• People with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and lung disease

• Pregnant women

• People 65 or older

• Those who live or care for anyone who is at high risk of complications

The San Benito County flu vaccine clinic will again serve as emergency preparedness for county employees and volunteers who are helping with the event.

“We will be utilizing this opportunity to test our emergency preparedness procedures and plan to determine our ability to respond in a time-efficient manner,” Perez said.

In past years, staff members have randomly timed how long it took for a patient to get from the entrance registration table through to the exit after receiving a flu vaccination. Last year, the average time from start to finish was about eight minutes.

“That’s our goal in an emergency – we are shooting for expedience and precision,” Perez said.

The staff members are still encouraging residents to get a flu vaccination from their primary care physician, local clinic or pharmacy if they can because of the limited supply available at the free clinic.

Details: For more information on the free flu clinic, call 637-5367.

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