WILMINGTON — If ever there was a flu season when being proactive was important, 2020 is the year.
Health care experts have long advocated for getting a flu shot. With the advent of Covid-19, their voices have a more dramatic tone and sense of urgency.
The Wilmington Community Based Outreach Clinic (CBOC), a part of the Chillicothe VAMC, is working to make flu shots readily available and more convenient — for all veterans — by offering a drive-up flu clinic every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon-4 p.m. at the CBOC, 488 W. Main St., through Oct. 30. There will also be an evening clinic on Oct. 14 from 4-8 p.m. and a special Saturday clinic at American Legion Post 49, 140 E. Locust St. (upstairs), on Oct. 17 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Drive-up flu shots are administered at the rear of the Wilmington Clinic and are also available to all veterans whether enrolled with the VA or not. If not enrolled with the VA, please bring proof of service (DD-214) and photo ID, or Veteran ID provided by the Clinton County Veterans Service Commission.
Should anyone have questions, please call the CBOC at 937382-3949.
An article entitled “When Covid-19 and the Flu Collide” in the most recent issue of Smithsonian Magazine cited a June 2020 study by John Hopkins University and Weill Medical College of Cornell University that compared county-level public health data across the country and found that the influenza vaccine can decrease Covid-19 mortality rates for elderly people aged 65 and older.
While the article did not draw any conclusions or cite any studies of other demographics, it did warn of the strain that could be placed on medical facilities, if influenza-related hospitalizations increased while the country is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The article went on to report that: “…the influenza vaccine offers a tried-and-true method for flu prevention. As scientists continue to formulate an effective Covid-19 vaccine, encouraging the use of existing influenza vaccines and treatments is of the utmost importance.”
Veterans, for the most part, by the nature of their service are proactive. The freedoms that U.S. citizens enjoy are the result of a military that has kept foreign adversaries from invading our shores by taking the steps necessary to prevent such a catastrophic event.
By the same token, veterans need to take those proven actions, like vaccinations, to prevent an avoidable, devastating flu season.