Region 8 residents are running for flu shots

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Region 8 residents came out in droves to get the protection they need for the upcoming winter months.

A mass flu clinic took place on Monday by the Craighead County Health Unit at St. Bernards Auditorium in Jonesboro.

Administrator, Amy Howell, says each year they have a huge turnout.

"Each year we look for really several thousand to come out and see us," Howell said. "We've had a good crowd all day. There's been no real long lines. We've got a lot of good volunteers and staff, today, so we're able to give those flu shots pretty quickly without people having to wait."

Howell says it's vital that people get a flu shot.

"It is so important to get a flu shot," Howell said. "It really is the only way to protect yourself and others around you. Also, pregnant women. They've got to get that flu shot because it's the only way to protect that baby. Children can not get a flu shot til they're six months of age. If you're a caregiver, health care worker, someone that takes care of your elderly parents, you really need to get a flu shot to protect them as well."

Howell says the biggest mistake people make is to not take the flu seriously.

"Some people think oh it's not that big a deal," Howell said. "Well, 23,000 people in the United States die each year from the flu or complications of the flu virus."

Howell says people often believe the worst that can happen from getting the flu is it's symptoms.

"Fever, chills, body aches, sore throat," Howell said. "Those are just the signs and symptoms. It can lead to complications like pneumonia. No one wants to be hospitalized and like I said, 23,000 Americans die each year from complications of the flu."

Howell says there are a couple of things you can do to get prior treatment.

"It's real simple," Howell said. "We have the nasal mist. It's painless. We have the flu shots and you can barely even feel it. It's over in a flash. So, please come out and get your flu shot. It will protect you and your family and the folks that work around you, as well."

The gave flu shots until five in the evening.

Howell says anyone who missed the mass flu clinic can drop by their main office and receive a shot that way.

For more information about the Craighead County Health Unit, log onto this website.

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