BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), announced a schedule of flu vaccination opportunities region-wide.
Public health and infectious disease experts, including Vermont's Commissioner of Health Dr. Mark Levine, are urging members of the public to get the influenza vaccine in September or October this year.
"Getting vaccinated against the flu is more important than ever before because of the emergence of COVID-19," SVMC's chief medical officer Trey Dobson said. "Getting both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, or within a short time apart, could be deadly. It is clear that vaccination is very safe and certainly one of the best measures to protect against the influenza virus. Equally as important, vaccination decreases the chance one will transmit the flu to others, particularly to those who are at risk such as the elderly or those with certain chronic illnesses."
Physicians recommend that most every individual over the age of six months should receive a flu vaccine every year. There is no out-of-pocket costs for those with most insurance plans.
"While we don't yet have an approved vaccine for COVID-19 today, we do have a flu vaccine," Dobson said. "We are encouraging everyone to vaccinate against the flu to save lives."
Patients in all locations will be screened before a nurse administers the vaccine. Those who are feeling poorly should not receive the vaccine until they are feeling better.
Drive-up clinics will be held in Bennington 4:30 pm to 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21, and Thursday, Sept. 24. No appointment is necessary. Patients should enter through the Monument Avenue Extension of SVMC's Bennington Campus and enter parking lot S5.
• Be at least 10 years old.
• Stay in car.
• Wear a mask.
• Wear short sleeves or loose clothing around the arms.
• Patients should be limited to four per vehicle.
• Those with pets in their vehicles will not be vaccinated.
• The event is rain or shine.
PATIENTS OF SVMC PEDIATRICS
Patients of SVMC Pediatrics may attend a clinic specifically for those over six months. (Those ten and older may also use the family clinic noted above.) An appointment is required, and patients should call the office at 802-447-3930 to check availability and schedule.
PATIENTS OF SVMC NORTHSHIRE CAMPUS
Patients of SVMC Northshire Campus in Manchester are required to make an appointment to attend its walk-up flu vaccination clinics scheduled on six dates in late September and early October. Call 802-362-4440 to schedule.
PATIENTS OF TWIN RIVERS MEDICAL, P.C.
Patients of Twin Rivers Medical, P.C., in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. are required to make an appointment to attend its flu vaccination clinic 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 19 and Sept. 26. Call (518) 686-5770 to schedule.
Vaccination schedules for the health system’s other primary care clinics—including SVMC Pownal Campus in Pownal —are in the planning stages and will be announced as soon as they are final.
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