Flu shots available to veterans

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With COVID-19 still present in our communities, getting your flu vaccine is extremely important. Help protect yourself and others by getting your flu vaccination.

Symptoms associated with seasonal flu include: fever, chills, body or muscle aches, headache, feeling tired and weak, cough, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat or chest discomfort.

If you have these symptoms, it is important to stay away from others and rest. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and take a fever reducer as advised by your health care provider. Make sure to notify your health care provider within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. Antivirals can be prescribed within the first 48 hours to help lessen your symptoms. You can reduce your risk of contracting the flu by doing these simple things:

· Don’t smoke

· Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables

· Exercise regularly

· Maintain a healthy weight

· Get adequate sleep

· Wash your hands frequently.

To minimize unnecessary exposure to the seasonal flu or to COVID-19, the Chillicothe VA and VA Community Clinics are administering vaccinations while veterans remain in their vehicle. Veterans can also request a flu shot during a regularly scheduled appointment.

When utilizing one of the following drive-thru flu clinics, veterans need to wear a mask and have clothing that will allow the upper arm to be bare for the injection.

* Chillicothe VA Drive-Thru Flu Clinic, VA Fire Department, Building 259, Oct. 12-15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Nov. 8, 9, 10 and 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* Portsmouth VA Clinic Walk-Up Flu Clinic, Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Nov. 30.

* Wilmington VA Clinic Drive-Thru/Walk-Up Flu Clinic, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Nov. 30.

With questions regarding the flu clinics, veterans can call 740-773-1141, ext. 15575, or your local VA Clinic — Portsmouth VA Clinic at 740-353-3236 or Wilmington VA Clinic at 937-382-3949.

Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system are encouraged to visit www.chillicothe.va.gov/enrollment.asp to register or call 740-772-7170 with questions.

Visit the Chillicothe VA webpage (www.va.gov/chillicothe) and follow us on facebook (facebook.com/ChillicotheVAMC) and twitter (@chillicothevamc.

Submitted by Stacia Ruby, public affairs officer, Chillicothe VA Medical Center.

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