Aspen flu shot clinic set | AspenTimes.com

Aspen flu shot clinic set

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Pitkin County Community Health Services will offer flu shots next week in Aspen and urges residents to get the vaccine, though the pandemic that caused a rush for flu shots a year ago has been declared over.

This year, there is no shortage of flu vaccine, and one shot will offer protection for three strains of influenza – the H1N1 strain that was the focus of last year’s warnings, seasonal influenza B and a strain identified as H3N2, which health officials believe is most likely to cause illness this season.

“We anticipate a normal flu season,” said Liz Stark, director of Pitkin County Community Health Services, in a press release. “We hope our local population will continue to make getting a flu shot a priority. The flu is a serious illness and vaccination is the best way to prevent it.”

The outbreak of H1N1, which began in Mexico in the spring of 2009 and became a global pandemic, was declared over in August. However, the Centers for Disease Control still recommends that everyone over 6 months of age get a flu shot this year. The CDC estimates as many as 36,000 people in the United States die from the flu annually.

Four Pitkin County residents were hospitalized for H1N1 between August 2009 and May 2010; they all recovered from the illness.

“Fortunately, the H1N1 virus overall didn’t become as virulent as health officials feared,” Stark said. “We think it helped raise awareness about influenza in general, which we hope will translate into more and more people getting vaccinated.”

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Flu shots will be offered Tuesday, Oct. 19 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Pitkin County Health and Human Services building. The shots are $20 for adults and $10 for children. Flumist is $30 for adults and $10 for children. Only cash and checks will be accepted; no credit cards.

More clinics will be scheduled in November; flu shots are also available at most “big box” pharmacies, the county advised.

For more information, call Community Health Services at 920-5420.

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