CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — As flu season approaches, Utah’s community health centers are prepared to provide their patients and communities with not only the flu vaccine but education and support services as well.
According to a press release from the Association for Utah Community Health, the COVID-19 pandemic does not mean you have to put your health on hold. Get a flu vaccine to protect yourself, your family and your community against the flu.
Due to heightened public concerns about visiting a health care facility during the pandemic, community health centers have responded by taking every precaution to keep their patients, staff and communities safe and healthy.
Many are providing drive-thru and curbside vaccines, phone check-ins, in-car waiting rooms and extended hours on nights and weekends. Others have created separate times and waiting areas for “sick” and “well” visits, reducing a healthy patient’s exposure to someone who may be sick.
Protect yourself, your family and your community
Now is the time to start thinking about when, how and where you will get immunized against the flu this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone 6 months of age or older should get an influenza vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. The CDC also recommends talking to your health care provider if you have any questions regarding which flu vaccines are best for you and your family.
William Christensen, a nurse practitioner and medical director at Family Healthcare, a health center serving southwest Utah, advises patients and families of tried-and-true ways to stay free from the seasonal flu this winter, like washing hands, covering coughs and getting a flu shot.
“Flu vaccines have been available in the U.S. since the 1940s and are an important way to protect ourselves, and the most vulnerable individuals in our households and communities,” Christensen said in the press release. “Flu shots not only help prevent contracting the flu; they also prevent serious complications of the flu for those who still get a case. I recommend being prepared by getting your flu shot now, before the flu season hits.”
As more and more people get vaccinated, fewer flu cases are seen and hospitalizations decrease. This decrease allows more medical resources to be available for those who are seriously ill.
Why a community health center?
Throughout Utah, community health centers are providing the flu vaccine for individuals and their families. They care for all ages and can assure that the flu vaccine is affordable regardless of your insurance status. Community health centers welcome all individuals and accept Medicaid, Medicare, most health insurance plans and offer sliding fee services for the uninsured.
Community health centers can also see you for all your other vaccine needs, check-ups and sick visits. They are a place for you and your family to visit to get the highest quality care at an affordable price. Visit your local health center today and get vaccinated before the flu season hits.
Visit the Association for Utah Community Health website to find a community health center near you.
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