With cases of influenza already being reported, the Washoe County Health District has scheduled drive-up flu vaccinations in Reno this weekend and next week on a first-come, first-served basis.
Drive-up clinics will be held at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, 1350 N. Wells Avenue, from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 19 and from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 22 and 23. Motorists are to use the entrance at North Wells Avenue and Sadlier Way.
The high-dose flu vaccine for people 65 and older will not be available during these events. Seniors are asked to seek the high-dose shot at pharmacies or from their healthcare providers.
No appointment is required, although those who can’t attend the clinics can make appointments with the health district’s immunization clinic, 1001 E. 9th St., Building B, by calling 775-328-2402. Shots are also available at local pharmacies and physician’s offices.
The health district recommends an annual flu shot for people 6 months and older.
Shots are free with most insurance plans and people are asked to bring their cards. Those without insurance will be vaccinated at no cost.
While no vaccine is 100% effective, getting a flu shot can reduce the severity of symptoms, and reduce the risk of hospitalization and death for those who do catch it, according to the health district.
“With the significant spread of COVID-19 still in our community, a flu vaccination is one of the most important things you can do right now,” Kevin Dick, Washoe County health officer, said in a statement. “The risk of our hospitals reaching capacity due to the flu and COVID-19 is significant. Since flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar, avoiding the flu can also help to preserve adequate testing capacity for COVID-19. A flu shot can prevent you from getting the flu, as well as help decrease the severity of the symptoms.”
Flu symptoms include fever, chills, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
Other preventative measures include avoiding close contact with people who are ill, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or one’s sleeve, washing hands often, wearing a facial covering, and not touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth.