The Importance of Getting a Flu Shot - Have You Gotten Yours?

Flu shot season has started, as clinics are popping up throughout Connecticut, including several to take place in Southington during the coming weeks.

The nights are getting longer, the temperatures are gettng colder and that means winter is right around the corner. For those at risk of getting the flu this winter season, it also means it's time once again to consider getting that flu shot.

Will you make the right decision and get yours this season?

Southington and Plainville each have clinics coming up in the following weeks and Shane Lockwood, director of the Plainville-Southington Regional Health District, said it's important for people to take precautions to protect their health.

"It's something we'd really recommend everyone do, but there are some who shouldn't go without one," he said.

And while inaccurate rumors and overconfidence in one’s ability to stay healthy prevents people from getting the flu shot, it really is an important thing to do said Mary Lenzini, CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut. The more people who get the flu shot, the less likely anybody gets the flu, Lenzini said.

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“The more people who get vaccinated, the less chance it has of spreading,” Lenzini said. “It is a pretty effective vaccine.”

Lenzini strongly encouraged elderly people, people with medical issues and pregnant women to get the shot, which is covered by most insurance companies or otherwise is around $14. It is children who are the most likely to pass around the disease, but adults actually get sicker from it, she said. In other countries, it is mandated that all children get the flu vaccination, but that has never been the case in the United States, Lenzini said.

While flu season is still generally considered a few months away, now is a good time to get the vaccination, as it will not wear out, she said. Conversely, it takes about two weeks to kick in, so if people wait too long it can be too late, Lenzini said.

She added that hand washing and covering one’s cold is still “one of the best things you can do,” but said the flu shot is a “very safe vaccine.” The vaccination is made each year based on what are the common flu strands in other countries, so it as effective as possible, she said.

She said many people don’t get the flu shot because they say they never get the flu, although she said this is “very, very good insurance” that will remain true. Although effective, it is still possible to get the flu after getting a flu shot, but even then people generally don’t get as sick from it, Lenzini added.

If anybody has any questions about the flu shot, they can call the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut at (860) 444-1111 or go to the website by clicking here.

Upcoming Flu Shots in Southington and Plainville

This season’s influenza (flu) vaccination will be offered to:

  • Any Plainville or Southington resident (6 months and older)
  • Any Plainville or Southington Municipal Employee
  • Persons who live with or care for non-eligible Plainville or Southington residents.

Clinics will be held at the following locations:

  • Thursday, Oct. 18, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the ; 35 Clark St. in Milldale.
  • Thursday, Oct. 25, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Gymnasium; 19 S. Canal St. in Plainville.
  • Monday, Oct. 29, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Plainville Fire Department; 77 W. Main St. in Plainville.
  • Thursday, Nov. 1, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Calendar House Senior Center, 388 Pleasant St. in Southington.

Please bring your Insurance or Medicare Part B card. If you do not have insurance, a $20 fee will be charged for the shot. Proof of residency or municipal employment may be requested. Consent forms are available on each town’s and Health District’s web site or clinics, or attached for printing in the PDF above. No one will be turned down for inability to pay.

More Information About The Flu

According to the Center of Disease Control, there are between 3,000 and 49,000 flu-associated deaths each year, mostly to elderly people. Also, people who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, children under six-months-old, people with a fever and people with a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome should not get the flu shot, according to the CDC.

For more information about the flu and the vaccine, click here.

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