We are receiving numerous phone calls regarding the availability of the flu vaccine yet this year due in part, I am sure, to the high number of flu cases and deaths of children in Colorado. Because of this, we will be offering one more flu clinic at the VNA office, 1218 Linn St. in Sikeston from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14 so as to facilitate those who must work during the week and are unable to leave their jobs or school to obtain their shots.
Children 9 years and younger, who have never had the flu vaccine before, are encouraged to take two doses at 4-6 week intervals for maximum protection. We are offering vaccine to those ages 4 years and up. We recommend parents take their very young children to their doctors for theirs.
Homebound residents who may need assistance can call the VNA office at 471-0520 to make special arrangements. We do charge $20 to take the vaccine to someone at home and can bill their Medicare for them if they qualify (must have Medicare Part B, which is clearly marked on their card).
We do not know if the virus attacking Colorado will strike here as well. We suspect it is a different strain of the virus than the three in this year's vaccine, but we do know that the vaccine works to protect against those three strains and helps somewhat with others related to those three. Even if a totally different strain strikes here, it will leave the immune systems of those affected compromised to the extent that another strain (one included in the vaccine perhaps) could complete the permanent damage initiated by an unguarded strain in an unprotected person.
Helen Sander, RNC