Updated on 10/26/2020 — The headline of this article previously described Fairfax County’s flu clinics as free. A county spokesperson has clarified that the cost of a shot depends on the individual’s insurance like at a pharmacy.
The Fairfax County Health Department and Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) have joined forces to offer a series of flu vaccination clinics at senior centers across the county.
The clinics were originally intended to exclusively serve people 50 and older, because older people tend to be more at risk for flu-related complications. However, the county has decided to expand the criteria to allow all adults 18 and older to utilize the service.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force and flu season starting, it is more important than ever that older adults get vaccinated for influenza,” NCS communications director Amanda Rogers said. “…While the initial scope of the partnership was to provide older adults a safe environment to get their annual flu vaccine, we have expanded the criteria to include all adults 18 and older for the remaining events.”
After launching on Oct. 6 at the Herndon Senior Center, four additional clinics are scheduled to take place from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., three days per week, for the next four weeks:
- Oct. 19, 21 and 22: Lincolnia Senior Center (4710 N. Chambliss Street, Alexandria)
- Oct. 26, 28 and 29: Original Mount Vernon High School (8333 Richmond Highway, Alexandria)
- Nov. 2, 4 and 5: Little River Glen Senior Center (4001 Barker Court, Fairfax)
- Nov. 9, 10 and 12: Lewinsville Senior Center (1613 Great Falls Street, McLean)
Fairfax County is also holding flu vaccine clinics for adults and children 6 months or older at the Herndon Reston District Health Office on Oct. 24 and the Mount Vernon District Health Office on Nov. 7.
While health officials recommend that everyone 6 months or older get vaccinated for influenza annually, the need for people to get flu shots is especially urgent this year, as flu season arrives while the U.S. continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flu season typically starts in late fall and lasts throughout the winter in the U.S., hospitalizing more than 200,000 people and killing about 36,000 people every year, according to the Fairfax County Health Department.
Caused by viruses that infect the respiratory system, influenza produces symptoms similar to the ones now associated with the novel coronavirus, including fever, coughing, a sore throat, body aches, fatigue, and headaches.
“It’s very important that we take advantage of the flu vaccine to protect ourselves against the flu so we don’t overburden the healthcare system with individuals who have serious complications of the flu, because they’re already taxed right now responding to COVID-19,” Fairfax County Health Department director of health services Shauna Severo said in a video about the senior center flu vaccine clinics.
In accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for reducing the potential transmission of COVID-19, Fairfax County is requiring all clinic visitors to wear face masks, undergo temperature checks, and adhere to social distancing protocols.
Visits are by appointment only, and all individuals are screened for COVID-19 symptoms both before their appointment and on the day they arrive.
All healthcare providers and other workers staffing the clinics are also wearing masks and other personal protective equipment.
“We are taking every precaution at our clinics to create a safe environment for individuals to come get their vaccine,” Severo said.
Community members can schedule an appointment at one of Fairfax County’s flu vaccine clinics by calling 703-246-6010.
Other locations for getting a flu shot can be found through the website vaccinefinder.org. Tysons Reporter also compiled a list of medical providers and pharmacies in the Tysons area that were offering vaccinations as of Sept. 1.
Photo via Channel 16 Around Fairfax
Flu season is around the corner and regional officials will gather tomorrow morning to discuss the importance of the annual vaccination.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that everyone do their part to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like flu,” a press release said.
The meeting, which begins tomorrow (Sept. 17) at 9.m., will include speeches from Fairfax County officials who encourage members of the public to receive their yearly flu vaccinations, according to a press release.
Those who want to watch the event are invited to do so virtually via Facebook Live.
A recent Tysons Reporter poll said that almost 20% of 494 respondents have already gotten their flu shot for the year while another 66% of respondents that they plan to do so soon.
“Getting a flu shot will help prevent unnecessary illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths and will protect frontline health care workers and conserve scarce medical resources needed to care for COVID-19 patients,” a press release said.
Attendees at tomorrow’s event will likely include:
- City of Falls Church Mayor David Tarter
- Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay
- President and CEO of Inova Health System Dr. Stephen Jones
- Town of Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert
Clinics and medical facilities are beginning to offer yearly vaccines as flu season approaches.
People who received their annual flu shot in a 2018 study were 82% less likely to be admitted to the ICU for potentially life-threatening symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Most people six months and older can receive a dose of the flu shot, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that people can either choose the shot or the nasal spray.
The CDC suggests that those eligible should receive their yearly flu vaccine before the end of October.
As fall and winter approach, medical professionals are urging people not to skip their annual flu shot this year, as a spike in the flu could cause unnecessary hospitalizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doctors worry that people forgoing their flu shot this year could have detrimental effects on the healthcare system by potentially overwhelming hospitals, USA Today reported.
People who received their annual flu shot in a 2018 study were 82% less likely to be admitted to the ICU for potentially life-threatening symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on the website.
Since some medical professionals are worried that this upcoming winter could see a spike in COVID-19 cases — as it will be harder for people to gather outdoors while socially distancing — doctors want to keep unnecessary hospitalizations low.
People six months and older can receive a dose of the flu vaccine annually, the CDC said, adding that people can either opt for the shot or the nasal spray.
Lots of clinics and medical offices already are offering flu shots in the Tysons area:
- The Kaiser Permanente Tysons Corner Medical Center (8008 Westpark Drive) offers a drive-through flu vaccination station, according to its website. Beginning today through Nov. 30, people can stop by on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. From Sept. 12 until Oct. 24 people can also stop by on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
- Some drug stores such as CVS and Walgreens also offer walk-in flu shots. For example, the CVS at 1452 Chain Bridge Road offers slots from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. On Saturdays, they are taking patients from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and again from 1:30 p.m. until around 4:30.
- Around Falls Church, McLean and Vienna, CVS also has several other flu shot locations which can be found online through a proximity tracker.
- While they stop to shop for groceries, people can get their flu shots at pharmacies inside specific Safeway and Giant stores. At Giant (1454 Chain Bridge Road), the pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church (IHVI Atrium 3300 Gallows Road) is offering free flu shots for members with an Inova insurance plan from Sept. 5 through Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. each Saturday.
- People can also check with their primary care doctor, as many family practices also offer flu shots.
Skepticism About McLean Intersection Plan — “While there were a few who expressed their overall approval for Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s (FCDOT) recommendation for improvements to the Balls Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive intersection in McLean, the majority of those who attended the meeting at Cooper Middle School on the evening of Nov. 28 were less than satisfied with the outcome of more than two years of study and analysis.” [McLean Connection]
Disruptive Restaurant Employee Arrested — “Vienna police on Nov. 20 at 3:01 a.m. dispatched officers to Amphora Restaurant, 377 Maple Ave., W., after receiving a report that an employee, who appeared to be intoxicated, was yelling at customers.” [InsideNova]
Starbucks Customers Threatened in Falls Church — “Police responded for a report of an unknown subject approaching customers and threatening physical harm. Following an investigation, the suspect was identified, and the victim declined prosecution.” [City of Fall Church]
Flu Shots at Grocery Stores — “Giant Food announced today that flu shots are once again available at all of its in-store pharmacies for both adults and children. The vaccinations are administered by Giant’s certified in-store pharmacists and are often covered in-full by most insurance plans.” [FairfaxNews]