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VA encouraging veterans to get an annual flu shot

As the autumn season arrives next week, officials at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System are encouraging all veterans to get their vaccination for the influenza virus.

As noted in a news release, enrolled veterans can now receive their seasonal flu vaccination by appointment or walk-in at any VA clinic throughout Southern Nevada.

“Flu vaccination is the best protection we have in fighting and controlling seasonal influenza,” said Dr. Jason Dazley, infectious disease specialist. “Last year we saw lower numbers of influenza compared to previous years because of social distancing and masking indoors, but the flu shot is still your greatest defense from serious infection.”

The release also noted that back in 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated more than 410,000 flu hospitalizations and more than 24,000 deaths in the United States during the flu season.

The upcoming flu season, the release noted, will coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic, as the flu and COVID-19 can each lead to severe illness, hospitalization, or death.

“It’s like being kicked when you’re already down,” said Dr. Myron Kung, a VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System critical care pulmonologist. “We are still fighting the resurgence of infection rates with the Delta variant. When combined with COVID-19, the flu could compound community illness and the strain on the local health care system.”

Additionally, those who are enrolled in VA health care can receive the seasonal flu vaccination at more than 60,000 locations through the VA’s community care network, retail pharmacies, and urgent care partners, according to the release.

Veterans can visit https://www.va.gov/communitycare/flushot.asp to find locations to get a no-cost flu shot.

For more information on the flu vaccination and other VA resources on how to stay healthy this flu season, visit https://www.prevention.va.gov/flu/.

Additionally, the agency advised that there may be further updates regarding flu shot distribution at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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