GILLETTE, Wyo. — A drive-thru flu clinic will be available to residents this Friday, according to Campbell County Public Health.
The clinic will be set up in the north parking lot of Public Health, 23-1 S. 4-J Road, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 29. Residents are asked to bring their Medicare or insurance card with them, according to the county’s social media page.
According to the Wyoming Department of Health, flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses affecting the nose, throat and sometimes lungs. The virus can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death.
The WDH says the best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year and recommends that almost everyone over the age of six months receive a seasonal flu shot.
“Certain population groups are more vulnerable to serious flu-related illness or even death, including people over 60, pregnant women, children under 5, and people with underlying conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart disease, etc.),” the WDH says, adding that one way to protect vulnerable populations from influenza is to work toward a community of immunity.
“This means that Wyoming residents outside of those vulnerable populations [should] still get their flu shots to help prevent contracting the flu and/or lessen the seriousness of their own conditions,” per the WDH.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year.
Between 2019 and 2020, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits, over 100,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths nationwide, per the CDC.
The vaccine can also be lifesaving in children, the CDC says, adding that a 2022 study showed flu vaccination reduced children’s risk of severe life-threatening influenza by 75% while other studies have shown it reduced flu-related hospitalization and emergency departments among children by half.
“Despite the many benefits offered by flu vaccination, only about half of Americans get an annual flu vaccine,” the CDC says. “During an average flu season, flu can cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths. Many more people could be protected if more people got vaccinated.”