To make it “easier than ever”, Sanford is offering a number of options for the Flood shot, including a drive-through vaccination blitz on Saturday, September 19, in parking areas in Fargod starting on Saturday, September 19.
Health care providers and public health officials are concerned about stress on the health care system as the flu season and epidemic overlap, possibly sending waves of patients with symptoms of upper respiratory infections to clinics – and, in severe cases, hospitals In.
A doctor with influenza disease said that the epidemic is going on because of seasonal upsurge in influenza and other respiratory infections.
“We absolutely do not want people to have both influenza and COVID-19 infections at the same time,” Sanford pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Alison Hornayak said.
By reducing the likelihood of contracting the flu, getting a flu shot will help people avoid falling apart at home and reduce pressure on the health care system.
“We’re already worried about our beds,” due to epidemics and other diseases that send people to the intensive care unit, Hornak said. “We have a lot of COVID patients currently admitted.”
The flu season increases from year to year, but usually starts in November, lasts for the last four weeks of the year and extends to the first 12 weeks of the following year.
“It really varies from year to year,” Hornyak said. “Now is the time for your flu vaccination.”
To make flu shot more convenient and safer by enabling safer distancing, Sanford is offering a flu-shot blitz at the Pherdome. Patients will be guided through several lanes by staff members and volunteers.
“Definitely this year we’re doing something new,” said Hornyak, adding that people have become accustomed to drive-through sample collection for COVID-19 tests.
Sanford’s drive-through vaccination blitz will be offered on four consecutive Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm at the Fargodome: September 19, September 26, October 10 and October 17. Appointments are required to control traffic flow. Patients should call their doctor’s office or 701-234-8830 to schedule an appointment.
Sanford West Fargo Clinic, 1220 Shyen St., is hosting a vaccination blitz by appointing the same four Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.
All ages are welcome during any clinic date. Nasal mist gauze vaccine will not be available in the blitz. Patients will be asked to wear face masks and follow social removal guidelines. A mask will be provided for those who do not have it.
Flu vaccinations are also available by appointment only at all Fargo-Moorehead Metro Sanford primary care clinics. Call your doctor’s office to schedule. For the first time, Sanford specialty clinics are also offering flu vaccination; Patients will be vaccinated with the flu during any regular Sanford visit.
For more information on how to take a flu shot, go online to SanfordHealth.org/Flu.
Essentia will offer flu-shot clinics and other options but has not yet announced details.
Last year, according to state data, an average of 35% of North Dakota residents received the flu vaccine, with younger children and older people vaccinated at a rate of more than 50%, Hornyak said.
“Obviously, room for improvement there,” she said.