FamilyCare Sponsors FREE Flu Shots to Help Oregonians Fight Growing Epidemic
FamilyCare, Inc. is sponsoring additional FREE flu clinics over the next two weeks and encouraging other health plans to do the same in response to recent reports of increased influenza cases. Five influenza-related deaths have been reported statewide and Portland-area hospitals have already begun restricting visitors.
“The flu doesn’t know one health plan from another,” said Brett Hamilton, FamilyCare’s Community Development Coordinator. “This flu season is reminding us how important it is to work together to protect the community through flu vaccinations, especially those most vulnerable.”
Hamilton said some infants may be too young to receive certain types of vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends an annual flu vaccination for almost everyone six months of age and older. However, babies who are unable to receive vaccinations can be protected by “cocooning,” the concept of vaccinating family members, as well as those who come in close contact with babies, against the flu.
In a similar fashion and on a larger level, “community immunity” is a term for protecting individuals who may be more vulnerable to preventable illnesses. This group includes not only babies, but pregnant women, children and adults with chronic illnesses, children with certain allergies and the elderly.
“All rely on vaccinated members of their community to help keep them protected,” Hamilton said. “That’s why FamilyCare is offering free flu clinics at this crucial time during the flu season, to ensure that people protect themselves, their family and the community.”
FamilyCare’s FREE flu clinics will be held at the Lloyd Center at Center Court (Level 1 near the ice rink).
The first community vaccinations will be offered on Friday, Jan. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The second vaccination clinic will be offered on the Martin Luther King Holiday, Monday, Jan. 20, also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Individuals under the age of 18 who want a flu shot will need parental or guardian consent. Flu shots will not be administered to children under the age of four.