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Free flu vaccination clinic

Posted: November 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

Flu season is officially here. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the season may begin as early as October, hits its peak in January and February, and can continue as late as May.

The CDC website, www.cdc.gov, offers a great deal of information about the 2013-2014 flu season, including influenza symptoms, prevention, and treatment.

And while most of us know that simply covering a cough and washing hands are great ways to help prevent the spread of the flu virus, the reality is many will still get sick

One way to reduce your chances of getting this year’s strains of the influenza virus is to get a flu shot.

This year, the city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with College of the Canyons, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, make it easy with a free flu vaccination clinic on Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at College of the Canyons in the East Physical Education building, located at 26455

Rockwell Canyon Road. Free vaccinations will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

According to the CDC, flu shots can save lives, especially among the elderly who account for a majority of the 20,000 flu-related deaths in the United States each year.

The CDC recommends that everyone who is at least six months of age receive a flu vaccine, in addition to pregnant women, childcare providers, care givers, first responders, and those with chronic illnesses.

College of the Canyons’ nursing students will administer most of the vaccinations, while Emergency Medical Technician students will facilitate the pre-screening process.

Nurses from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, College of the Canyons, and volunteer nurses will also be on hand to lend their knowledge and expertise.

Numerous city staff, the city’s Community Emergency Response Team volunteers, as well as the city’s Emergency Communication Team volunteers, will also participate.

The Nov. 15 event is more than just a way to help Santa Clarita residents combat the flu season. The flu vaccination clinic also serves as a test of Santa Clarita’s Cities Readiness Initiative response during a bioterrorism attack.

The CDC’s Cities Readiness Initiative is a federally funded program designed to enhance preparedness in the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan area in the event of a large-scale outbreak or bioterrorism attack.

Each year, additional volunteers are brought into the organizational structure of the Cities Readiness Initiative to learn the responsibilities of various key positions — and as a result, help train others to assume the responsibilities within the emergency structure.

College of the Canyons is one of many designated points of dispensing sites located throughout Santa Clarita.

Parking for the Nov. 15 clinic is available in lots 5 and 6, adjacent to the East Physical Education building, on the

Valencia campus. Drive-through accommodations will be provided for those with limited mobility.

For more information about the free flu vaccination clinic, please contact the city’s Human Services Division at (661) 250-3708.

Frank Ferry is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at fferry@santa-clarita.com.

 

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