Last flu season, El Paso County Public Health
recorded 489 influenza-related hospitalizations: a 35 percent increase from the previous year.
It's about that time again.
To stay out of the hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says everyone 6 months and older should get an influenza vaccine, which can be life-saving for kids. It's best to get one by the end of October.
"When a person receives a flu vaccine, it causes the body to create antibodies," a statement from Penrose-St. Francis Health Services explains. "This process takes approximately two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection from this year’s anticipated strains of the flu virus. This is why people need to get a flu shot annually — the vaccination is based on the strains that research indicates will be most common for that year."
Getting a flu shot is especially important for members of high-risk groups, including children younger than 5, adults older than 65, pregnant women, nursing-home residents, and those with certain medical conditions, the statement adds. People from these groups are prone to complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections.
to find locations near you with the flu vaccine. If you're uninsured or don't have vaccine coverage, never fear. Penrose-St. Francis Faith Community Nurses will stick it to you for free at the following clinics for adults and children over 4:
• Saturday, Oct. 5
from 9 to 11 a.m. @ Mission Medical, 2125 E. LaSalle St.
• Monday, Oct. 15
from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. @ Dream Center Women’s Clinic, 4360 Montebello Dr. # 900
• Wednesday, Oct. 17
from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. @ Family Connections, 917 E. Moreno Ave.
• Friday, Oct. 19
from 9 to 11 a.m. @ Connections 4 Life, 6436 US-85, Fountain
• Friday, Oct. 19
from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. @ Ecumenical Social Ministries, 201 N. Weber St.
• Tuesday, Oct. 23
from 9 to 11 a.m. @ Westside CARES, 2808 Colorado Ave.
• Wednesday, Oct. 24
from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. @ Grace Be Unto You Outreach Church, 3195 Airport Road
• Monday, Oct. 29
from 12 to 2 p.m. @ Tri-Lakes Cares, 235 Jefferson St., Monument
• Monday, Nov. 5
from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. @ Mercy’s Gate, 4360 Montebello Dr. #300
• Tuesday, Nov. 6
from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. @ Marian House Catholic Charities of Colorado Springs, 14 West Bijou St.
• Tuesday, Nov. 20
from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. @ Iglesia Nueva Vida, 124 Delaware Dr.
• Wednesday, Nov. 21
from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Springs Rescue Mission Thanksgiving Dinner) @ Colorado Springs City Auditorium, 221 East Kiowa St.
On Sunday, Oct. 6
from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., you can also attend the 9Health Fair at Mission Medical Center to get free flu shots, Pap smears, Body Mass Index tests, and foot screenings, as well as low-cost blood screenings ($20 to $40). Just make sure to register online