The leaves are changing, the temperature is falling and all signs point to a sure autumn indicator: flu season.
To combat the illness, area residents can receive flu shots at local schools this month as part of a new Stamp Out Influenza program spurred by 7-Day Clinic.
Area schools have teamed with the clinic to offer seasonal flu shots at Fargo and West Fargo locations from today (Oct. 1) through Oct. 29. The effort is in response to the Centers for Disease Control recommendation that all school-aged children receive flu vaccinations. Preregistration is recommended, but not required.
"We have never done a community-wide flu clinic before," said Heather Leas, Executive Assistant for West Fargo Public Schools, "We've always just had flu clinics for the employees and their families. I think the (Stamp Out Influenza) program will be good for the community."
Those without insurance will have to pay $33 for the seasonal vaccine or $55 for a nasal mist vaccine. However, children younger than 18 without health insurance can be vaccinated for free through the Vaccination for Children government program.
The flu shots are open to anyone; participants don't need to have a student attending school.
Leas noted that the flu shot and nasal mist will be at all clinics, but the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine will only be there if available. Currently, the H1N1 vaccine isn't slated to be released "until mid October," Leas said, after the Stamp Out Influenza program already has started.
Flu shots will be available the following days from 4-8 p.m. in West Fargo: Oct. 14, Eastwood Elementary; Oct. 15, Horace Elementary; Oct. 22, Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center and Aurora Elementary; Oct. 23, Harwood Elementary; Oct. 27, Osgood Kindergarten Center; Oct. 28, L.E. Berger Elementary School and West Fargo High School; Oct. 29, the STEM Center and Lodoen Center.
For more information, visit www.7dayclinic.net or call 701-364-2911.