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Sentara hosts drive-through flu shot events

Another round of drive-through flu shots is coming to Hampton Roads.

Sentara is hosting free drive-through flu shot events throughout the area with three locations in Suffolk and Western Tidewater.

The events will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 10 at Sentara Obici Hospital, 2800 Godwin Blvd., Suffolk; Sentara St. Luke’s, 20209 Sentara Way, Carrollton; and Sentara BelleHarbour, 3920 A Bridge Road, Suffolk.

“Sentara hospitals usually see an increase in flu cases around mid-September and early October,” said Kelly Kennedy, corporate communications and public relations for Sentara. “Sentara healthcare leaders say it is crucial to get the flu shot this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

At this event, community members 18 years and older can receive a free flu shot while supplies last. In a drive-through style, patrons can check-in, get their shot, and carry on without having to leave their car.

According to Sentara, it is best to get the flu shot early into flu season. The vaccine tends to last up to six months. Getting one in September lets the vaccine last through March or April when flu season usually ends. This early October event will allow recipients to get the most from the shot, including some immunity benefits.

With COVID-19 still present, the flu shot is needed more than years before. The shot cannot prevent COVID-19, but it can reduce the risk of being infected with flu, which could sow confusion by causing similar symptoms or could make COVID-19 worse if one were to catch both at the same time.

“The CDC says it is possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, both of which can result in serious illness,” said Kennedy. “Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death. Getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever, not only to reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care resources.”