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Veterans lining up for flu shots at VA center

October 26, 2005|By CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - About 1,500 veterans have received flu shots at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, with additional clinics scheduled for today and in November and December.

"I think the turnout has been about what we expected," said Barbara Corbin, spokeswoman for the medical center. "It's been a good, steady flow."

The number of veterans who have received shots so far only includes those who received one in the medical center's lobby - not those who received one from their physician or from one of the medical center's six Community-Based Outpatient Clinics.

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Along with the clinic scheduled for today from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the VAMC's main lobby, clinics also are scheduled for veterans on Nov. 14 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 15 to Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 13 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Only veterans enrolled in the VAMC may receive flu shots during one of the clinics.

Because the vaccine takes two to four weeks to become effective, getting a shot in October or November is recommended. The flu season peaks between January and March.

Those encouraged to receive a flu shot include people 50 years old or older; those who have a long-term health problem; people with a weakened immune system; doctors, nurses or family members who could be in close contact with those at risk of getting the flu; pregnant women who will be past the third month of pregnancy during flu season; children 6 to 23 months old; those planning to travel to the southern hemisphere from April to September or to the tropics at any time; and out-of-home caretakers of infants up to 23 months old.

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