The following was compiled from a press release announcement from the Town of Wilton.
The Wilton Health Department, in conjunction with the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County will be holding a Seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinic on Saturday, Oct. 10, and Sunday, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. each day. Those wishing to receive a flu vaccine must register in advance and schedule an appointment. Appointment scheduling will be available on September 25, 2020. Please check the Wilton Health Department website for updates.
Vaccines will be available for Wilton residents only.
UPDATE: Wilton Health Director Barry Bogle confirms that insurance will be billed, and if someone does not have insurance they will still be able to get a flu shot. “We will not turn anyone away,” he said. Anyone interested can sign up via the Health Department website as soon as signups are available.
Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Health Department officials say that while it’s not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, the CDC believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. In this context, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever.
This year, the flu vaccine clinic will be held outdoors as a drive-through clinic at Miller-Driscoll School. Due to COVID considerations, a drive-through clinic along with appointment times will help maintain social distancing and eliminate the need for disinfecting the school building afterward. Masks will still be required, and safety precautions will be in place to promote a safe and healthy environment for everyone. No walk-ups will be allowed, only those driving through with an appointment will receive a vaccination.
The flu vaccine clinic entrance will be from the Belden Hill Rd. side of the school, and all vehicles will exit onto Wolfpit Rd.. You may experience some minor traffic delays in that area on those days, and residents not receiving a flu vaccination are encouraged to seek alternate routes. For safety reasons, access to school grounds will be restricted to vaccinations only on those days.
All residents are encouraged to get a flu vaccine this year, especially with the prevalence of COVID-19. Seasonal flu and COVID-19 symptoms may appear similar, though they may affect the body differently. Receiving a flu vaccine will help reduce your risk of contracting the flu this season, and also reduce the strain on hospitals and medical systems which continue to treat COVID-19 patients.
For the upcoming flu season, flu vaccination will be very important to reduce flu occurrence because it can help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on the population and thus lessen the resulting burden on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A flu vaccine may also provide several individual health benefits, including keeping you from getting sick with flu, reducing the severity of your illness if you do get flu, and reducing your risk of a flu-associated hospitalization.
Vaccination of people at high risk for flu complications is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. Many people at higher risk from flu also seem to be at higher risk from COVID-19. If you are at high risk, it is especially important for you to get a flu vaccine this year.
It is possible to have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time according to the CDC. Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19; however, flu vaccination has many other important benefits. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death.
Getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever, not only to reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care resources. During the COVID- 19 pandemic, reducing the overall burden of respiratory illnesses is important to protect vulnerable populations at risk for severe illness, reduce the strain on healthcare systems, and maintain other critical services and infrastructure.
The Town of Wilton and the Wilton Health Department remain committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all Wilton residents.