Sep 11, 2020 9:59 AM

Get your flu shot to keep you safe, conserve supplies

Posted Sep 11, 2020 9:59 AM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A doctor with the Hutchinson Clinic is encouraging residents to get their flu shot this season for many reasons.

"We're going into a viral season with RSV and influenza and a lot of the other common cold viruses all of which will make a very interesting winter month and flu season for us," said Dr. Michael Little. "With all of that in mind, we really want to encourage the community to get their flu vaccine to help, one, prevent the illness for them, prevent hospitalization for them and certainly help the health care community be able to tease out which one of those are COVID and hopefully keep the flu curve flat, if you will."

It's also about conserving testing resources for both COVID and the flu. If they don't know which you have, you have to get multiple swabs.

"Currently, we need two swabs," Little said. "There is technology that's there and hopefully expanding that can be ran on the same machine, but that technology's at least not commercially available here in Hutch. For those reasons, it's two swabs currently at this point."

There also, at least right now, is enough vaccine to go around.

"Manufacturers have really been ramped up over the summer months preparing for this," Little said. "We have adequate flu supply at this point, we think to get us through the season. We are not triaging or prioritizing any patient group at this point. We'd like every eligible person to get their flu vaccine six months on up through adult life."

Flu shots are now available in the Hutchinson Clinic walk-in-clinics, by appointment in primary care offices and during each of the public flu shot clinics listed below. Please bring your I.D. and insurance information.