The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, valdez Star 

Flu drill moves to elementary school this year

Inoculation exercise is free for taking and protects the community


Free flu shots will available to the public this Saturday.

Instead of the annual city-wide flu shot drills that have been held in the evenings at the hospital for several years running, this year free flu shots will be made available to the public at the elementary school.

"The clinic will be held on Saturday, October 18th from 10 a.m. until 2:p.m." Deputy City Clerk Allie Hendrickson said in an email Monday evening. "The event is open to the public and flu shots are 100 percent free."

Minors must be accompanied by parents or guardians.

The flyer says to enter Hermon Hutchens Elementary School on the east end by the playground.

"During the clinic, our local first responders will be "exercising" their skills and practicing established procedures for mass inoculations in the event of a health related emergency," Hendrickson said.

Last year, the City of Valdez financed the purchase of the vaccines, so inoculations will be free to the public.

For many years, Valdez has been on the vanguard of protecting the health of the populace by providing numerous opportunities for people to get flu shots, including mass inoculation clinics.

Public health officials say most people should consider getting a flu shot. Only those who are currently ill with a fever, are allergic to chicken eggs or have compromised immune systems from certain diseases should not get a flu shot.

Graphic courtesy City of Valdez

Information about the upcoming flu shot drill in Valdez.

Children under the age of five and those over the age of 50 are usually encouraged to get the vaccine, as they are at the highest risk of serious complications from influenza.

It is important to get inoculated with the new vaccine every year, according to medical experts. The types of flu the inoculations prevent can change from year to year and unfortunately, the protection doesn't last forever.

Anyone with questions regarding this year's flu shot drill or wishing to volunteer can call city hall.

This annual exercise is a partnership between the City of Valdez, the Valdez Local Emergency Planning Committee, the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, and Providence Valdez Medical Center.


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