St. Rose offers free flu shots at drive-through clinic Oct. 18

(Great Bend, Kas.) -Those who want a free flu shot are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and drive through the upcoming vaccination clinic at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center.

The event begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18 at St. Rose. It will last until 11 a.m. or until 400 vaccines are given by St. Rose personnel who are volunteering their time. While the shots are free, goodwill donations will be accepted.

Motorists are asked to enter at the south side of the St. Rose parking lot and to wear short sleeves or those that roll up easily.

Participants must be at least 18. Consent forms may be filled out the day of the event or in advance by visiting www.stroseasc.org.

Our flu season usually gears up in November and lasts until March, said Gloria Siefkes, St. Rose employee health nurse. This will be a great opportunity to get ahead of it, especially since it takes about two weeks to build up immunity.

If you have had a cold but are getting better, it is okay to get a flu shot, she added. But if a cold is just grabbing hold, it is better to wait.

In addition, Siefkes noted, there are others who should not get the vaccine. These include people with severe egg allergies, past strong reactions to flu shots and those who have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

For most people, however, the vaccine is the best available protection against the flu and its complications, the registered nurse said. It also helps prevent spreading the disease to other people.

The St. Rose Foundation and the Barton County Quality of Life Endowment - a fund of Golden Belt Community Foundation - are donating the vaccines to the drive-through clinic.

All of us are grateful to these organizations and the people who donate to them, Siefkes said. They understand the importance of flu prevention in our quest to create healthier communities.

St. Rose is part of Centura Health, which connects individuals and families across western Kansas and Colorado with more than 6,000 physicians, 15 hospitals, seven senior-living communities, physician practices and clinics, and home-care and hospice services.