Tappahannock, Va. – As part of its commitment to building a healthier community, Riverside Health System will administer free flu shots Saturday, Oct. 24 at Essex Bank, located at 1325 Tappahannock Blvd. in Tappahannock.

Flu shots will be available for patients 14 and up while supplies last from 9 a.m. to noon. No appointment is needed for this drive-thru clinic.

In light of COVID-19, masking will be required at all times at the clinic.

Temperature checks and additional safety screenings will be required prior to any patient receiving a flu shot.

Patients must confirm they have none of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, chills, muscle pain, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

Patients who are sick or show any of the symptoms noted above should contact their physician before getting the flu vaccination.

In addition, patients who are under evaluation for COVID-19, waiting on viral test result, diagnosed with COVID-19 and not yet cleared to discontinue isolation, or have had prolonged contact with anyone with confirmed COVID-19 should also contact their physician before getting the flu vaccination.

The flu, short for influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older adults, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the flu season is unpredictable and constantly changing, with the severity and length of each season changing from year to year, flu season in the U.S. generally runs through the fall and winter.

The unknowns of the season underscore the importance to get vaccinated, the CDC reports, and take every day preventative measures to prevent spreading the virus, including staying away from sick people, washing hands frequently and staying home from work and school when sick to prevent exposing others.

Getting vaccinated before flu activity begins helps provide protection once flu season starts. It takes roughly two weeks following the vaccination for the body’s immune system to respond to provide the protection.

For more information about Riverside Health System and the 2020 flu shot clinic series, visit www.riversideonline.com/flu.

Published: October 14, 2020