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Nevada health officials urge residents to receive flu shots

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to take the spotlight all around the country, not to mention the globe, other viruses such as influenza have been thrust into the background but health officials with the state of Nevada are doing their best to remind the community that the flu is still a danger to public health and they are urging Nevadans to get their flu vaccinations as the nation enters the next flu season.

“The influenza season is fast approaching and while last season saw historically low influenza activity nationwide due to precautions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Nevadans are encouraged to receive a flu shot as the 2021-2022 season begins,” a news release issued by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services stated. “The use of masks, improved hygiene practices, avoidance of large group gatherings and social distancing all contributed to low flu rates for the 2020-2021 season. But as the last influenza season ended and COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed, influenza-like illness (ILI) case counts began to rise, reaching levels higher than those seen during the season. ILI continues to increase in Nevada and the upcoming season brings many unknowns, specifically related to COVID-19 co-infections circulating with other respiratory illnesses, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).”

For some, the flu may result in moderately uncomfortable symptoms but for others, this virus can wreak havoc, forcing hospitalization and threatening the life of those who experience severe symptoms. As detailed in the news release, the flu vaccine is the best form of protection against influenza and its potentially serious complications. However, health officials noted that vaccines are just one line of defense and those who wish to do all they can to avoid the flu should also ensure they utilize the precautionary measures that have become so prevalent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including frequent hand washing, wearing a mask in all indoor public settings and crowded outdoor settings, following social distancing and of course, staying home from school, work and social functions if they happen to be feeling ill in any way.

“In addition, it is important to resume the precautions that were used last season to prevent the spread of influenza in Nevada. Due to the effectiveness of these precautions in preventing respiratory illnesses, it is recommended that Nevadans continue with the mitigation measures that have been effective for the flu and COVID-19,” the news release stressed. “Getting vaccinated, combined with other mitigation measures not only protects yourself and your loved ones, but protects the state’s health care capacity by reducing the number of people that need medical attention related to influenza complications.”

Upcoming flu shot clinics

As part of the effort to ensuring residents of the Silver State are able to easily access a flu vaccine this season, the offices of the Pahrump Community Health Nurse and the Tonopah Community Health Nurse will be holding several flu shot clinics throughout the month. Communities in which these are scheduled include Pahrump, Tonopah, Goldfield, Manhattan, Round Mountain, Amargosa and Beatty.

For Pahrump, which contains the highest population in the county, the flu shot clinics are being held each Wednesday at the Pahrump Community Health Nurse’s Office. All of these clinics run from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., except for the hour of noon to 1 p.m. when the office is closed for lunch. This office also offers all three COVID-19 vaccines. Those who wish to receive a flu shot or COVID-19 shot through the Pahrump Community Health Nurse’s Office, located at 1981 E. Calvada Blvd., should call 775-751-7070 to make an appointment.

The Tonopah flu shot clinic is set for today, Oct. 6, from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Tonopah Health Nurse’s Office, 1 Frankie St.

Residents of the Goldfield area can get their flu vaccines at the clinic, set for tomorrow, Oct. 7, at the Community Center located at 511 Crook St. anytime between 3 and 5 p.m.

Manhattan will see its flu shot clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at the Manhattan Library, located at the intersection of Highway 377 and Gold St. Vaccines will be administered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The Round Mountain flu shot clinic, which is being hosted in partnership with Round Mountain Gold, will take place on Oct. 13 as well, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the General Store, 1 Electrum Dr.

Members of the Amargosa community can receive their flu shot at a clinic scheduled for Monday, Oct. 25 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Amargosa Community Center, 1640 E. Farm Road. COVID-19 vaccines will also be available.

Beatty’s flu shot clinic is set for Thursday, Oct. 28 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Beatty Community Center, 100 A Ave South. Those attending this flu shot clinic can also receive their COVID-19 vaccines.

All flu shot clinics, with the exception of those in Pahrump, do not require an appointment.

The flu shot is available to anyone over the age of six months and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced last month that individuals can in fact receive both their flu vaccine and their COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.

For more information on the flu shot clinics in Tonopah, Goldfield, Manhattan and Round Mountain call the Tonopah Community Health Nurse at 775-482-6659. For more on the Pahrump, Amargosa or Beatty clinics call the Pahrump Community Health Nurse at 775-751-7070.

For more information on the administration of flu vaccines in combination with COVID-19 vaccines, or more information about either of these diseases, visit www.CDC.gov or www.ImmunizeNevada.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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