Tysons, VA

School is starting again for kids in the Tysons area, leading parents and educators to not just focus on possible health risks from COVID-19, but also from students who haven’t gotten their required vaccines.

Even though it’s starting the new school year off virtually, Fairfax County Public Schools is requiring all of its students to be up-to-date on required immunizations.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found indications that fewer kids are getting immunizations — possibly due to parents’ worries that their kids will catch COVID-19 at the doctor’s office.

In addition to COVID-19 concerns, some parents are now worried if vaccine-preventable diseases pose a new threat from unvaccinated kids, National Geographic reported.

The CDC said in July that health care providers seem to have the capacity to give kids their routine vaccinations.

Fairfax County officials are urging parents to get their kids vaccinated. This summer, the county expanded its number of community childhood vaccination clinics and the hours for the clinics offering the school-required Tdap vaccine.

Let us know in the poll and comments below if your kids have all their required vaccinations for the new school year.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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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.
 Photo via Hyttalo Souza on Unsplash
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Fairfax County confirmed it is still mandatory for all students enrolling in Fairfax County Public Schools to receive their required immunizations, despite the school year starting virtually. 

The county’s health department is providing nine additional community childhood vaccination clinics and encouraging families to take advantage of free vaccination opportunities before the start of the school year, according to the Fairfax County Emergency Information website

Required vaccinations protect against life-threatening illnesses such as polio, measles, whooping cough and chickenpox, according to the website. Additionally, incoming seventh-graders need a booster dose of the Tdap vaccine, and preteens need vaccines to protect against diseases such as HPV. 

Only a select number of appointments will be available at community vaccination clinics to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To schedule an appointment, call 703-246-6010, TTY 711. Clinics encourage families to send a picture of their child’s vaccination records to decrease face-to-face time at the clinic.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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Morning Notes

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]

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