Flu shots are just one part of the Hope Health Fair as seen on March 20, 2019, in Hope, British Columbia, Canada. (Black Press file photo)

Flu shots are just one part of the Hope Health Fair as seen on March 20, 2019, in Hope, British Columbia, Canada. (Black Press file photo)

Public health: Get flu shot by end of month

Dr. Anne Zink said anyone over the age of 6 months should get their flu shot.

Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services and the state’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anne Zink, have recommended that Alaskans get their flu vaccine before the end of October in order to reduce the rate of illness in the state and prevent Alaska’s hospitals from being overwhelmed as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Zink said last Thursday during a Zoom video conference with members of the media and Alaska Public Health that anyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot, which is also the recommendation of the State of Alaska’s Section of Epidemiology.

Sixteen different influenza vaccines will be available in Alaska during this year’s flu season, but the State’s Epidemiology has no preferential recommendation for one vaccine over another, according to its bulletin titled “Influenza Vaccine Recommendations and Administration for the 2020-2021 Season” that was posted last Wednesday.

Most locations offer the option of the standard quadrivalent vaccine — which contains four different strains of the flu — or the High Dose vaccine. Some locations also offer an egg-free vaccine for people with severe egg allergies. Any licensed, recommended influenza vaccine can be used on people with egg allergies, according to the State’s Epidemiology section, but people who experience allergic reactions beyond hives should seek the egg-free alternative.

Adults aged 65 and older are encouraged to get the high-dose version of the flu vaccine, as it can give older people a higher immune response against the flu, according to the Mayo Clinic. Studies have shown that people who receive the high-dose vaccine were more likely to develop side effects in the following week, including fever and soreness at the injection site. Check availability for the high-dose vaccine as not all venues have it.

People who are suspected or confirmed of having COVID-19 should wait until they complete their isolation period before receiving vaccination, in order to avoid exposing health care professionals to the virus.

Community flu vaccine clinics will be offered at these times and places:

Anchor Point

• Wednesday, Oct. 21, noon-4 p.m., SVT Health & Wellness, 72351 Milo Fritz Ave. Free to the community; adults only.

Shots will be administered inside the building. Call 907-226-2238 for more information.

Homer

• Thursday, Oct 8., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., SVT Health & Wellness, 880 East End Road. For patients, by appointment only. Call 907-226-2228 to schedule. Shots will be administered outside in a tent in the main parking lot.

• Thursday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., SVT Health & Wellness. For patients, by appointment only. Call 907-226-2228 to schedule. Shots will be administered outside in a tent in the main parking lot.

• Friday, Oct. 16, 2-6 p.m., South Peninsula Family Care Clinic, 4201 Bartlett St. Also offered Saturday, this free, two-day clinic is co-sponsored by South Peninsula Family Care Clinic and Homer Medical Center. For more information, visit sphosp.org or call 907-235-0397.

• Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., South Peninsula Family Care Clinic, 4201 Bartlett St.

• Thursday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. SVT Health & Wellness, 880 East End Road. For patients, by appointment only. Shots will be administered outside in a tent in the main parking lot. Call 907-226-2228 to schedule.

• Tuesday, Oct. 27, 4-7 p.m., Homer United Methodist Church. SVT sponsors this free clinic as part of the 37th annual Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay Health Fair. For more information, visit www.rotaryhealthfair.org.

• Thursday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., SVT Health & Wellness, 880 East End Road. For patients, by appointment only. Shots will be administered outside in a tent in the main parking lot. Call 907-226-2228 to schedule.

Seldovia

• Wednesday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., SVT Health & Wellness — Seldovia, 206 Main Street. Free to the community; adults only. Shots will be administered outside in a tent in the main parking lot.

• Tuesday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. SVT Health & Wellness — Seldovia, 206 Main Street. For patients, by appointment only. Shots will be administered in the health center. Call 907-435-3262 to schedule.

Flu vaccines also are offered at these local medical centers. Some offer walk-in visits while others require appointments. Prices and dose availability vary; call ahead to check.

Homer Medical Center — Homer

4136 Bartlett St.

907-235-8586

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

By appointment.

Kachemak Bay Medical — Homer

4201 Bartlett St., Ste. 202

907-235-7000

Open every day 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

By appointment.

Safeway — Homer

90 Sterling Highway

907-226-1060

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday, Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Walk-in vaccinations. Call ahead to check wait times.

South Peninsula Family Care Clinic — Homer

4201 Bartlett St.

907-235-0900

Vaccines will be available later in October. Call for appointments and availability.

Scotts Family Pharmacy — Homer

4014 Lake St., Suite 101

907-226-2580

Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 2-6 p.m.

Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Walk-in vaccinations.

Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware — Homer

3585 Lake St.

907-235-7760

Monday-Wednesday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3-7 p.m.

Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Walk-in vaccinations.

NTC Community Clinic — Ninilchik

15765 Kingsley Rd.

907-567-3970

Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

By appointment.

SVT Health & Wellness Centers — Anchor Point, Homer and Seldovia

The SVT Health & Wellness Centers also offer flu vaccines by appointment. See above for locations and contact information.

Reach Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com and Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

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