Flu hospitalizations are increasing across the nation and Mesa County isn’t the exception with 136 total hospitalizations since Oct. 1, 2017. Due to the rise in hospitalizations, Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) is offering a flu vaccination clinic Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Health and Human Services Building, 510 29 ½ Road, from 9 to 11 a.m.

“We started to see our more notable increases in flu hospitalizations following the holiday season and have seen a steady rise ever since,” MCPH Epidemiology Program Manager Heidi Dragoo said. “We know that the vaccination is our best defense to fight the flu. We also know that if you do get the flu and you’ve been vaccinated, your symptoms will be less severe and less likely to land you in the hospital.”

The flu vaccination clinic is open to Mesa County residents of all ages and will be walk-in only; no appointments will be available during the Saturday flu clinic. Residents are encouraged to bring their insurance cards, but those without insurance won’t be turned away.

The MCPH Clinic is also offering flu vaccination during regular business hours – Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon – by walk-in or by appointment.

“We know it can be a barrier for some residents and families to make it into our clinic during our normal business hours, so we wanted to offer this Saturday clinic,” MCPH Clinic Program Manager Allison Sanchez said. “As the leader in public health in Mesa County, it’s our job to make sure residents have the resources they need to stay healthy year-round and this is how we can help during flu season.”

Flu is a serious illness and can be deadly for older adults, infants and people with underlying medical conditions, so vaccination is important for all community members. It’s also vital to stay home if you’re sick, so that you don’t spread illness at work or school. Good handwashing is also a great defense against the flu and any other illness that may be circulating.

Click here to learn more about flu symptoms and prevention.