Priscilla Daniels doesn’t usually get a flu shot, but this year, she decided to get one to make sure she is protected and can protect others.
Daniels, an Augusta University employee, took advantage of a kickoff event set up by the university Monday to encourage employees to get a flu shot this year. For her, it was the perfect time to get her shot.
“It makes it a lot more convenient than having to schedule a time around my work schedule and family schedule to actually get it done,” she said.
Frances Toole, AU’s director of employee health and wellness, said the university felt it was important to encourage employee to get a flu vaccine, especially with COVID-19 still out there. She said AU wanted to get employees vaccinated early to offer them an added layer of protection since both illnesses have similar symptoms.
“We have a mandatory policy for flu, so it’s important we all get our flu (shot) on time and get it early because if we see COVID in the community rise again, it’s more (important) now than ever to get your protection against the flu,” she said.
Toole said she wants everyone to understand how important it is to get a flu shot this year. AU is providing flu shots for employees every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at AU Medical Center and on Fridays from 1:45 to 4:45 p.m. at the Human Resources lobby.
Traci Talman, a registered nurse at AU, helped give the flu shots to her fellow employees. Talman said the event not only promotes getting the vaccine but also allows her and fellow nurses to complete their clinical ladder.
This year because of COVID-19, Talman said most of the clinical and community events they usually do have been postponed, canceled or moved online. She too heralded the importance of getting a flu shot this year.
“Every year is important for people to get a flu vaccine regardless of COVID. Flu is widespread and needs to be taken seriously, with the addition of COVID, it’s extra important to get a flu vaccine,” she said.
For the general public, the Richmond County Health Department will offer flu shots Wednesday at a drive-through clinic from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the East Central Health District office on North Leg Road. People are asked to stay in their cars, wear a mask and wear clothing that allows easy accessibility to the upper arm.
Those interested should take a photo ID, insurance card and fill out a consent form for faster service. According to the health department, there is no out-of-pocket cost with most insurance, and even those without insurance can take advantage of the clinic.