FARMINGTON — The Healthy Community Coalition still has flu vaccine available, and the state is encouraging residents to get it because the high number of cases is expected to continue for a while.
“Influenza levels are expected to remain high for the next several weeks. Vaccination is still strongly encouraged,” according to the Maine Center for Disease Control.
Although HCC has given more than 200 vaccinations and held clinics throughout the county, it still has vaccine left, Cheryl Moody, a registered nurse at HCC, said. There are flu cases being treated locally, she said.
It’s not too late to get a flu shot, but it does take two weeks after vaccination for it to be effective. Some people are experiencing the flu even after vaccination but the symptoms are less severe, Moody said.
As of Tuesday, the CDC reported it is following up on 65 outbreaks in Maine. In December, one child’s death was attributed to the flu and reported to the CDC.
Moody administers flu shots at the HCC office at 105 Mt. Blue Circle, one-quarter mile west of Franklin Memorial Hospital on Routes 2 and 4. The shots are available for people 18 years and older. Those under 18 should contact their doctors.
The office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. but anyone who wants a flu shot should call first to be sure a nurse is available to give it. People can call Moody at 779-2214.
HCC is a nonprofit and cannot bill private insurances, Medicare or Medicaid. The organization has to purchase the vaccine and asks for a donation of $20 or an amount the person can afford to cover the costs of the vaccine.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” she said.
Although HCC has already held flu-shot clinics throughout the county, there’s still an opportunity for clinics at other locations if there are enough people interested, she said.