United Way offering free flu shots

There’s another reason, besides brats and the biergarten, to visit this year’s Seymour Oktoberfest.

Jackson County United Way will be distributing vouchers for free flu shots through the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership. The shots are for those over the age of 11 in an effort to help prevent the flu and serve those without health insurance and residents who can’t afford a flu shot.

The flu shots are being provided and administered by Walgreens from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday outside of the Indiana Health Center Annex at 120 St. Louis Ave. in downtown Seymour.

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They also will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 15 outside Vallonia Christian Church during the annual Fort Vallonia Days festival.

The vouchers are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. No identification or registration is required.

Tonja Couch, executive director of Jackson County United Way, said the hope is to serve at least 200 residents.

“The opportunity to bring free flu shots to our community is a great service to offer,” Couch said. “This partnership is a huge benefit to our local community. We encourage all residents to roll up their sleeve and take this preventative action.”

With the large crowds of people that attend the Oktoberfest and Fort Vallonia Days, Couch said the festivals were the perfect location and time of year for the free flu shot clinics.

December through March is peak season for flu activity, and individuals are urged to take preventative measures now to keep themselves and those around them healthy.

Last flu season, Schneck Medical Center in Seymour confirmed around 150 cases of the illness.

“United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community,” Couch said. “Because of this commitment, we are working to help more Jackson County residents fight the flu in October.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for anyone 6 months of age or older to help protect against the seasonal flu epidemic.

FamilyWize also offers a free discount card that can help families save an average of 43 percent on prescription medications, including antiviral drugs for those who contract the flu.

For information on how to sign up for the prescription discount, visit familywize.org or download the app familywize.org/prescription-savings-card/get-your-free-card.

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In addition to getting your flu shot, FamilyWize offers the following tips to help prevent the flu:

1. Clean your hands: Wash your hands as often and thoroughly as possible with soap and water. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

2. Stay home: Avoid leaving your home for school, work and errands when you are sick. Experts recommend you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

3. Avoid close contact: Do your best to avoid close contact with people who are sick. You should also avoid close contact with others when you are sick.

4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth: Viruses often spread when a person touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth after exposure to the virus. Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.

5. Keep your surroundings clean: Clean and disinfect anything that may be contaminated with germs.

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What: Free flu vaccines

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday during the Seymour Oktoberfest

Where: Outside of the Indiana Health Center Annex at 120 St. LouisAve. in downtown Seymour

Also will be available Oct. 15 outside Vallonia Christian Church during the annual Fort Vallonia Days festival.