The Payne County Health Department, along with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, is participating in a state exercise, Oct. 10, while offering a flu clinic to the public at the Meridian Technology Center – Stillwater Campus, Entrance One, Parking Lot A, Building A.

The exercise is designed for county health departments and the regional medical response system to test their ability to respond and provide mass immunizations in the event of a public health emergency such as an infectious disease outbreak. To test this capability, the Payne County Health Department will rely on participation from the public. Flu shots will be offered at no out-of-pocket cost for those who participate.

“This is a great opportunity for us to practice our capabilities while offering a service to the public,” said Regional Administrative Director, Kelli Rader. “Flu season is here and we encourage everyone over the age of 6 months to receive a flu shot.”

Flu shots will be provided while supplies last from 9 a.m. to noon. In addition to the exercise, the Payne County Health Department will begin providing regular flu clinics beginning Oct. 7. Please call 405-372-8200 for clinic dates and times. Individuals who have health insurance are asked to bring their card, as their insurance company will be billed for vaccine and an administration fee.

Each year in the United States, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. The flu vaccine is the best defense against getting the flu. Flu season usually starts in September or October and runs through April or May.

Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for serious illness from the flu including pregnant women, children younger than 5 years of age and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease and other chronic conditions. Parents and family members of babies younger than 6 months of age and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for complications from the flu, including health care workers, should also get the vaccine.

For more information about the flu or flu clinics, contact the Payne County Health Department at 405-372-8200.

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