KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Benton-Franklin Health District is anticipating a rough flu season this winter, following the decrease in outbreaks over the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health experts predict our immune systems are less prepared to fight the flu, but with many people returning to pre-pandemic lifestyles, exposure is expected to increase, according to the press release from BFHD.
For these reasons, the BFHD is encouraging community members to get their flu shots before the rise in flu cases around the holidays. Flu vaccinations take two weeks to fully administer, which is why it’s important to get them sooner rather than later.
The BFHD is hosting a series of flu vaccination clinics for adults 19 and older to get their flu shot. The clinics are on October 17-21, between 8 a.m. and noon, then between 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Appointments are required, call 509-460-4200 to schedule yours.
“The most common mild side effects far outweigh the risks of getting the flu,” said Heather Hill, BFHD public health nurse. “Those side effects may include soreness or swelling where the shot was given, low-grade fever, headache, and possible muscle aches. If these side effects occur, they should only last one to two days.”
You can also prevent the flu by washing your hands frequently, covering your cough, staying home when you’re sick and trying not to touch your face.