The state Health Department will hold two flu shot clinics in central Arkansas this week.
The first will be held Wednesday at the State Fairgrounds, while the second will be held Thursday at the North Little Rock High School East Campus. Both are from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Health department staff, health professionals and volunteers work as a team to provide vaccine. This year, the seasonal flu vaccine includes protection from the H1N1 virus, so there won’t be a separate shot.
For the Little Rock Clinic, the general public will receive their shots in the Hall of Industry and will enter the Fairgrounds through the main gate off of Roosevelt Road. This year, our special needs clinic will not be a drive-through clinic; instead, special needs services will be provided in the Arts and Crafts Building. People with special needs will enter through the Schiller Street Entrance (Gate 7) and park in the reserved parking area in front of the Arts and Crafts Building.
Dr. David Bourne, Pulaski County Health Officer, said, “Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot. Flu can be a serious illness and we lose roughly 36,000 Americans to complications from flu each year. It’s important for Pulaski County citizens to get their flu shot. If you have insurance, the ADH will ask your insurance company to pay for the cost of giving the vaccine. If you do not have insurance or your insurance company does not pay, the shot will be no charge to you.”
Flu shots are not mandatory, but they are highly recommended for anyone six months of age and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommend that all children aged 6 months and older receive a seasonal flu shot every year. In addition to causing illness, seasonal flu causes children to miss school and their parents to miss work.
Children eight years and younger who have never received a seasonal flu shot before will need a second seasonal flu shot for full protection. Parents will need to contact a local ADH health unit or health care provider, see if vaccine is available and take their children in for a second shot four weeks after the first shot.