The Ardmore Fire Department will host free flu vaccine clinics Oct. 3 at Fire Station 1 at 115 N. Rockford Rd. and Fire Station 2 at K St. SE. The clinic at Fire Station 1 will run from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., while the clinic at Fire Station 2 will run until 4 p.m.
The free shots, which were donated by the Chickasaw Nation, will be administered by about a dozen practitioners with the Carter County Health Department.
The Oklahoma Health Department, which publishes monthly reports on the flu on its website, has reported more than 2,400 cumulative hospitalizations and/or deaths since Sept. 1, 2016. Between Aug. 2 and Aug. 31 of this year, two cases have already been reported hospitalized or dead from the flu.
And while the OHD says the flu season typically starts in October and can stretch as far as May, Chris Snow with Carter County Health Department administration says doctors have already begun to report cases of the flu.
“Flu season never really stops. We recommend every year, no matter whether the flu season is going to be good or bad, that everybody come in and get a flu shot,” Snow said. “It never really ends, but we definitely ramp up with vaccines around October to get ahead of everything.”
Amber Marr, a nurse with the Carter County Health Department for nearly eight years, said that flu season can be hard to gauge in advance.
“There is no way to know how harsh,” Marr said. “Usually it’s mild, but there have been years when it’s not.”
General tips for preventing the flu Marr offered included getting a flu shot, constant hand washing and staying home from work and school when having a cough or fever.