Public Health Strongly Recommends Flu Vaccine

Public Health strongly recommends a flu vaccine. Flu clinics slated for late October. For up-to-date coronavirus information visit here.

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

Public Health has confirmed one new positive case of COVID-19 from test results received September 23 –25. The positive individual is a non-resident, therefore is not included in the official County case count, keeping total cases at 90 with zero active cases. The 24-year-old female is symptomatic and in isolation, and close contacts have been notified to quarantine.

With flu season approaching, Public Health reminds the community to stay focused on best practices and strongly recommends flu vaccines for adults and children. Each year, the flu vaccine prevents millions of cases and keeps tens of thousands of people from going to the hospital. An influx of influenza paired with COVID cases may put an overwhelming strain on healthcare providers, and impact the ability to care for patients.

Public Health expects a gradual arrival of flu vaccines, and is anticipating hosting three free community flu clinics in late-October. An October distribution is typical for influenza vaccines, and more information will be provided on how to receive a vaccine shortly.

“The flu vaccine will play an extremely important role in managing the health of our community this winter,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “This preventative measure will protect our medical system from being overburdened, and reduce the risk of contracting COVID and the flu together.”

Part of the reason flu clinics are typically offered starting in October is that Public Health follows the Center for Disease Control’s best practices for vaccine distribution. Healthcare workers and community support services often receive the first round of vaccines as they are at the highest risk of exposure. The second round will cover the most vulnerable members of the population, which for the flu include older adults and higher risk individuals. The third and final round of vaccines will be distributed to the rest of the community at the end of October during the San Miguel County flu clinic.

A similar distribution strategy will apply when a safe and effective COVID vaccine becomes available.

Vaccine development through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a three-phase process, including multiple independent reviews and testing for its efficacy and safety in thousands of people. There are several COVID-19 vaccines currently in Phase 3 efficacy trials. Depending on the type of vaccine that is safe, effective, and approved, Public Health will determine how it will be distributed within the county. They continue to work with State health officials and the County’s Emergency Operations Center to respond to this health crisis.

San Miguel County will continue posting caseload updates twice a week. The next update will be published on Tuesday, September 29.

Five Commitments of Containment:

Wear a mask
Maintain six-feet of physical distance
Minimize group size
Wash hands frequently
Stay home when sick and get tested

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