AGH Offers Free Flu Clinics

BERLIN – As a service to the community’s health, Atlantic General Hospital/Health System is again providing flu shot clinics free to the community. Individuals must be at least 13 years old to receive the vaccine at one of the free clinics.
In Berlin at the hospital’s Outpatient Services Lobby, clinics are planned for Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 2-6 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2-6 p.m.
In Snow Hill, the Taylor Bank branch will host a clinic on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
In Ocean City, Holy Savior Catholic Church, 1705 Philadelphia Avenue will host a clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
In Ocean Pines, during the Ocean Pines Health Fair at the Ocean Pines Community Center on Saturday, Oct. 5, a clinic will be held from 8 a.m.-noon.
In the Ocean View, Del. office of Dr. Barbara Socha, 96 Atlantic Avenue, a clinic will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m.-noon. All participants must be at least 18 years of age to receive the vaccine at this clinic.
Additional clinics will be scheduled as vaccine supplies are received.
Influenza and complications resulting from the virus kill an estimated 20,000 people each year, according to the CDC. Although rates of influenza vaccinations have increased in recent years, health surveys indicate that less than half of the high-risk population receives a yearly vaccine.
Influenza, or flu, is a highly contagious virus spread by inhaling droplets from an infected individual’s cough or sneeze. Most symptoms emerge within 24 to 48 hours and are characterized by fever, chills, sore throat, cough and headache. Just one infected person can unknowingly pass on the flu to family members and loved ones because the virus can be transmitted 24 hours before symptoms appear.
Those at an increased risk for influenza related complications including persons 65 years and older, nursing home residents and other chronic care facilities, adults and children with chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, including children with asthma, people with metabolic diseases such as diabetes and those with blood diseases like sickle cell anemia, or impaired immunity.
Children and teenagers on long-term aspirin therapy and anyone working or living with someone in a high-risk category should get a flu shot every year.
The vaccine is usually given before the flu season. Individuals can receive the vaccine from their health care providers or at one of the free immunization clinics offered provided by Atlantic General Hospital and the Atlantic General Health System.
Since flu viruses mutate often, vaccines should be repeated each year.