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Local health departments seeing high turnout for flu shots

OGDEN, Utah — The unrelenting coronavirus pandemic is prompting many doctors to say, get your flu shot right away to avoid a “twin-demic.” But setting up an appointment may not be as easy as it has been in years past.

We haven’t run into any issues with the flu vaccine running out, but there are indications of a much higher demand.

“Your arm might be a little sore today,” a nurse said Tuesday.

It’s a minor inconvenience for a season of protection against influenza.

People like Danielle Bird take time out to do it every year.

“I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to miss work. I don’t want to be laid up at home,” she said.

She got it.

Danielle Bird receiving her flu shot.

Joan Keepers got her dose, too.

“I taught school for 35 years, and so I just made sure I got the flu shot, because I had so many kids getting the flu,” said Keepers. 

Indications in the Bear River Health District are that more people seem to be getting the shot early.

Where they’d normally give the flu vaccine to about 1,700 people in the 65 and older age group over a whole season, they’ve already hit over 2,000.

And numbers are up for all age groups.

“As a community, I think that people are doing their part and getting their flu vaccine, and hoping that that will help decrease those hospitalizations as we enter the flu season,” said Estee Hunt, spokesperson for the Bear River Health Department.

Hunt said there may be another reason driving those numbers.

“A lot of them are also coming back for their booster of COVID-19, and they’re doing and taking care of it both at the same time,” she said.

Either way, it’s a trend they’d like to see continue this season — in part to avoid the chance of people coming down with both COVID and the flu at the same time. But also, for the simple fact that influenza alone is enough of an inconvenience. 

Estee Hunt with the Bear River Health Department.

“And we, I think, all understand that the flue vaccine is going to be the single best way for us to prevent ourselves from being sick, our family or our friends from contracting the flu,” said Hunt. 

If you have trouble getting an appointment at your local pharmacy, you might have better luck with the flu shot through your local health department.

A second drive-thru clinic at the Weber-Morgan Health Department has been scheduled for Oct. 27 from 2 to 6 p.m.

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