Kanawha County health officials set for flu, COVID vaccination event

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department is set to host a cross-county event geared towards getting citizens vaccinated from seasonal flu and the coronavirus.

“Arms Across Kanawha” is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. across eight sites in the county, mostly high schools. The seasonal flu shots are free and made possible through funding by the
Kanawha County Commission.

“We are wanting folks to come out, roll up their sleeves and help prevent a twindemic. We just simply cannot afford to have a flu pandemic on top of the COVID pandemic we are dealing with right now,” Robby Queen, Director of Operations of Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (KCHD) said.

The sites will be administered in cooperation with many partners including the commission, the City of Charleston, the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority, Health Right, Charleston Area Medical Center, Family Care Health Centers, Kanawha County Parks and Recreation, and Kanawha County Schools.

Sites include Coonskin Park, Capital High School, Riverside High School, Sissonville High School, St. Albans High School, Nitro High School, South Charleston High School, and George Washington High School.

According to the CDC, peak flu season is from December to March. Queen said to not wait that long to get your shot.

“We are already seeing people being admitted to the hospital with the flu in the Kanawha Valley. In fact, we have had a couple of instances of dual infections with folks in having both the flu and COVID-19,” he said.

State coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh said during Friday’s coronavirus briefing that being unvaccinated for both could have fatal consequences

“The co-occurrence of the flu with the delta variant of COVID-19 in somebody who doesn’t have immunity related to vaccination or other immunities would be concerning,” he said.

The CDC confirmed 276 patients were administered in a hospital with the flu nationwide this week.

Queen added that last flu season was abnormally low and cannot predict what this flu season will bring.

“There are various reasons for that because folks were social distancing and masked up. It makes it hard to predict what we might see in this year’s flu season. Which is why it’s even more important to get a flu shot this year,” Queen said.

For more information on testing, vaccines, and all other public health services please visit www.kchdwv.org or call the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department at (304) 348-8080.

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