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REDWAY >> Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Now is the ideal time to be immunized against the influenza virus to ensure that you are protected before flu season begins.

As the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age. Flu vaccines create antibodies which provide protection against the top three or four flu viruses that are likely to cause the most illness during the flu season.

While supplies last, Redwoods Rural Health Center in Redway has flu immunizations available to current patients, those who have had a medical visit at RRHC within the last year. Priority populations are those who are immune-compromised or over the age 55 with diabetes, chronic respiratory conditions, or other chronic disease states. RRHC patients can request to receive a flu shot during their regular medical appointment or come to one of the walk-in flu vaccine clinics being held at RRHC’s Medical Clinic in Redway from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Oct. 9, Oct. 23, and Nov. 6.

Flu vaccines provided during RRHC’s flu vaccine clinics are free to Medicare, Medi-Cal, and sliding scale patients. All other patients can be vaccinated at a cost of $40. Payment is due at the time of service.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.

Please call Redwoods Rural Health Center at 707-923-2783 for information or to schedule an appointment. You can also learn more about the 2014-2015 influenza season on the CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2014-2015.htm.

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