Avoiding a dual pandemic with two contagious respiratory illnesses — COVID-19 and influenza (the flu) — is top of mind for health care workers across the country. That’s why the St. Charles County Department of Public Health is joining with area organizations to distribute 800 flu vaccinations during a free, drive-through clinic from noon to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7 at St. Charles Community College, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in Cottleville. The event will be held on the college’s Yellow Parking Lot.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is going to continue to be a health threat this flu season, says Department of Public Health Director Demetrius Cianci-Chapman. “Getting a flu vaccine will help to prevent the spread of respiratory illness, making our community more resilient to viruses we are facing this winter. We appreciate the support from St. Charles County healthcare, education, non-profit and other organizations in providing this beneficial service to our residents.
Participants should remain in their cars and follow instructions from event staff at the site. No appointment is necessary to receive a vaccination, but groups of six or more planning to arrive in the same vehicle should call 636-949-1857 before Oct. 2. All participants who complete an event evaluation following their vaccination will be entered to win a gift package courtesy of Martian Car Wash.
Two types of vaccinations will be offered at the clinic, including:
- Quadrivalent influenza vaccination – protects against the four most prevalent viruses expected this season: H1N1, H3N2, and two influenza B viruses. It is appropriate for those ages 6 months or older.
- High-dose influenza vaccination – for those age 65 or older. It contains four times the amount of antigen than the traditional quadrivalent shot to boost the body’s ability to create antibodies against the illness.
Annual flu vaccination provides the best opportunity to strengthen the immune system and protect those six months of age and older against influenza.
“Getting a flu vaccine helps one’s body develop antibodies to fight the flu,” Cianci-Chapman notes. “This immunity not only helps the person who gets vaccinated but also helps prevent the spread of the disease to those around that person — making everyone healthier. Those who get a flu vaccination are less likely to get the flu or have milder symptoms if they do get the flu.”
Assisting the Department of Public Health with this drive-through clinic are BJC Health Care (Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Progress West Hospital), SSM Health (St. Joseph Hospitals in St. Charles, Lake Saint Louis and Wentzville), Compass Health, Cottleville Fire and Rescue, Cottleville/Weldon Spring Rotary Club, St. Charles Community College, St. Charles County Ambulance District and St. Charles County Parks.
For additional information and tips on preventing the flu, please visit sccmo.org/flu or cdc.gov/flu.