The single best way to protect yourself and others against the flu is to get vaccinated each year, and free flu shots are available in South County this weekend.
Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson received their annual flu shots last week and urge all Missourians to get them. They especially encourage leaders and employers to get flu shots because “your actions can influence your employees to take positive steps and preventive actions to prevent the flu in your workplace this season.”
And for the 16th consecutive year, Barnes-Jewish Hospital will provide free seasonal flu shots to the St. Louis community.
Free flu shots will be given at the Siteman Center in South County Saturday, Oct. 19.
South St. Louis County Clinic:
Saturday, Oct. 19
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Adult and pediatric vaccinations (6 months and older)
Siteman Cancer Center – South County
5225 Midamerica Plaza
St. Louis, Mo. 63129
Parking is available free on-site.
The flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, body aches and sore throat.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized with flu-related complications each year.
And contrary to a popular misconception, getting the flu shot cannot give you the flu.
In 2018, more than 20,000 people were vaccinated at the Barnes-Jewish flu shot clinics.
Thanks to a donation from the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the St. Louis community (those 6 months and older) will again benefit from free flu vaccines.
All vaccines are free of latex and preservatives, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
As recommended by the CDC, anyone 65 years and older is eligible to receive a high-dose (HD) vaccine. Attendees who are 65 years or older will be given the HD vaccine while supplies last. If the HD vaccine is not available, the standard dose will be given.
Governor urges making flu shots accessible for employees
Making flu shots more accessible to employees is also important as the flu can have a major impact on business operations. The Parsons encourage Missourians to take steps now to minimize the effects of flu in the workplace.
“I have always made getting the flu shot a priority because it helps me stay healthy, so I can better serve Missourians,” Parson said. “Today, many of our team members joined me and the First Lady in getting flu shots so that our office stays healthy this flu season. We encourage you to do the same to protect yourself and those around you from the flu this year.”
State officials concurred.
“I recently had the opportunity to be in Washington, D.C., to meet with all state health directors, the U.S. surgeon general, the CDC, and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. One very powerful way we discussed to increase vaccinations is for leaders of organizations to personally demonstrate the importance by being vaccinated themselves,” Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams, MD, said. “We encourage leaders to follow Governor Parson’s example and get their flu shot to help keep themselves, their families, and everyone around them protected this season.”
Employers might consider offering an on-site flu clinic and/or encourage employees to seek the flu vaccination in the community.
If interested in hosting an on-site clinic during business hours, a great place to start would be contacting your local health department. Once you schedule a clinic, consider allowing employees to receive their vaccination without having to go off the clock.
If hosting an on-site clinic is not possible, there are other ways you can encourage vaccination for your employees. From displaying vaccination materials in high-traffic areas to policies that allow staff time to seek vaccinations in the community, many options can be adapted to fit your team.