Doctors say: Now’s the time to get the flu shot

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — It’s never too early to get the flu shot: that’s the message stateline area health experts hope to get across, with flu season right around the corner.

Even though many don’t think of October as flu season, doctors say now is the time to get vaccinated.

“The flu is something that is kind of scary for children and seniors,” said resident Tricia Diduch. “So, definitely, as I get a little bit older, it’ll definitely become more important. But, you just never know how bad it’s going to hit you.”

Emily Lawrence is a nurse at the Winnebago County Health Department. She says that, since the flu can be deadly for so many, people shouldn’t want to wait to get the shot.

“It can take a couple of weeks to get full coverage after you get the vaccine, so the earlier you get it, then you’ll be fully protected before we start seeing flu in our area,” Lawrence said.

The health department is offering over 30 community flu vaccination clinics, through December. The vaccine is free for those with no health insurance or limited income.

“We try to make it accessible for individuals, as well as affordable, so they don’t have hardships, financially, to receive the flu vaccine,” said Jennifer Schnepf, Health Promotion and Wellness Supervisor.

On Saturday, October 5th, IlliniCare is hosting “Boo the Flu” at the Discovery Center Museum, at 711 N Main Street.

Kids can wear Halloween costumes to receive a free flu shot.

“I think, because we’re bringing activities that they’ll find fun and exciting, it’ll help them forget about the fact that they’re getting a shot at the same time,” said Dr. Lakshmi Emory, IlliniCare’s Chief Medical Director. “That was the whole idea behind this, was to make this a fun family event, and for parents to be able to bring their children in and also get their own flu shot.”

Dr. Emory says flu season runs from October through May.

For a full list of flu vaccination clinics being offered by the Winnebago County Health Department, click here.

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