People Crowd Wilkes-Barre’s Free Flu Clinic
WILKES-BARRE — Flu shots are reformulated each year, and officials said this year’s version is a good match to the viruses going around. Fear of the flu certainly kept the Wilkes Barre health department busy on Friday.
The Wilkes-Barre Health Department held its annual free flu clinic, and officials said each one of today’s appointments for a shot was filled. They also said we haven’t even seen the worst of the flu season yet.
Parents and children, young and old, kept the hallways of the Kirby Health Center in Wilkes-Barre full as they waited to get their flu shots.
Jennifer Maywood took her whole family to the clinic. She said she had no luck getting shots at the local pharmacies.
“For the kids, you have to be 18 years of age for anybody to get a shot there, so I either had to come to my doctor’s who had run out of them already, or I had to come here,” said Maywood of West Wyoming.
Maywood was one of 150 people who signed up for the flu shot here. Another 170 made appointments for the shingles vaccine. The only walk-ins allowed were people 65 and older.
The health department has vaccines available for people of all ages, but for those 65 and older, they get a special shot, one with four times the amount of vaccine to ensure they won’t get sick.
“Basically as we get older, our immune system is weaker, not as strong. It protects the elderly better statistically than a regular shot,” said Ted Kross, Wilkes-Barre Health Department Director.
Children also got special treatment with the option to have a nasal vaccine.
Some thought the shots were painful, but others didn’t.
Everyone we spoke with said they were happy to get the vaccine.
“My parents are elderly. Coming into contact with them, I wouldn’t want to get them sick,” said Marc Keating of Pittston.
“I’d really rather feel safe than sorry and just have everybody all vaccinated,” said Maywood.
The health department will hold another clinic on Monday at the Kirby Health Center from 2 to 4 p.m. Walk-ins will be accepted, so you don’t need to make an appointment.