CHANS vaccinates 4,750, urges others to help prevent spread of flu
Throughout the fall of 2017, CHANS Home Health & Hospice offered a vigorous schedule of community vaccination clinics throughout the Midcoast region. Offered in partnership with more than 65 local schools, housing authorities, municipalities, Mid Coast Medical Group Primary Care offices, and many others, more than 95 clinics resulted in 4,750 vaccinations for community members.
“The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year,” said Luanne Crinion, RN, MSN, CIC, Mid Coast Hospital’s Infection Preventionist. “At this point, we are seeing widespread influenza activity in the region. The vaccinations help to prevent the spread of flu and keep our community members safe.”
Maine Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has distributed a Public Health Advisory that flu activity in Maine is widespread with laboratory-confirmed influenza reported in all 16 counties. Maine’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory has indicated that most strains of influenza are circulating in Maine.
CDC states that flu vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk including adults over 65, children younger than 5, and pregnant women. For these high-risk groups, there is greater concern for developing severe complications from the influenza illness, which may result in hospitalization or death.
Crinion continues, “Prevention of influenza is key and in addition to getting vaccinated, community members can focus on washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when you are sick.”
Randee Reynolds, vice president of Mid Coast–Parkview Health, commented, “Each year, CHANS offers the clinics at the start of the flu season in order to help get as many people vaccinated as possible. While the clinic schedule has ended for the year, we still encourage everyone in the community to get a flu shot. It’s not too late.”
Community members who have not yet been vaccinated should contact their primary care provider or local pharmacy. Those in need of a primary care provider, can call the Mid Coast Hospital physician referral line at (207) 373-6033, for personal help with locating a doctor that best suits their healthcare needs.
More information about flu, including symptoms and when to call a doctor, is available at midcoasthealth.com/flu.