PINEHURST, N.C. -- With COVID-19 still spreading in communities throughout North Carolina, the flu vaccine will be especially important in the fall of 2020.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas is committed to making vaccination quick and easy across the Sandhills and beginning in October all eight FirstHealth Convenient Care locations will offer curbside flu vaccinations.
James Liffrig, M.D.
Dr. James Liffrig, medical director of FirstHealth Convenient Care, said he hopes curbside flu shots will alleviate any concern people may have about visiting a clinic.
“The flu vaccine is critically important this fall, and we are thrilled that we can protect people without them having to ever leave their car,” he said. “Like COVID-19, flu can be a serious disease, so it’s important to get vaccinated to keep yourself and those around you healthy.”
Banners placed outside each Convenient Care location will include a number for patients to call, and staff members will come out to administer the flu vaccine.
“We have been serving people in new ways throughout the spring and summer as we’ve adjusted to life with COVID-19, and this service is an extension of that,” Liffrig said.
Flu vaccines are typically covered by most insurance plans, but if you have questions about cost, please call the FirstHealth Convenient Care location nearest you for more information.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccination for anyone 6 months and older. Vaccination against the flu can make illness milder and reduce the risk of more serious outcomes, making it especially important for anyone with higher risk, such as people over 65, children younger than 5, pregnant women and those with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or obesity.
In North Carolina, flu infections are most common from late fall to early spring with activity usually peaking in January or February. The following precautions should be taken to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses like COVID-19:
- Stay home when sick until fever-free for at least 24 hours, except for COVID-19. Follow CDC guidance for end of isolation for COVID-19.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly.
- Continue to practice the 3Ws — wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth, waiting 6 feet apart, and washing your hands often can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and flu.
COVID-19 and flu symptoms are similar, so individuals who feel ill should call ahead before going to a doctor’s office, local health department or convenient care. They should consult with a doctor about getting tested for flu and/or COVID-19.
Flu symptoms include:
- Cough and/or sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Headaches and/or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
For additional information about FirstHealth Convenient Care services, visit FirstHealth.org. Convenient Care clinics are in Randolph, Montgomery, Moore, Lee, Hoke and Richmond counties.