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Southern Ohio Medical Center currently has flu shots available and is urging the public to take this opportunity to be vaccinated. Vaccines are available at SOMC’s outpatient pharmacies and Family Health Centers. Walk-ins are welcome.

Flu vaccinations are especially important this year because influenza shares so many symptoms with COVID-19.

“If you’re not vaccinated against the flu, it may be difficult to differentiate the symptoms of influenza from the symptoms of COVID-19,” Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. David Byers said. “Not only will the vaccine protect you from the flu, it also reduces the risk that COVID-19 will be spread by individuals who mistakenly believe they are sick with another illness.”

Despite some common misconceptions, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu shots are made with either inactivated (dead) viruses or only a single protein from the virus. However, it is still possible to contract other illnesses, such as the common cold, after receiving a flu shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu shot for everyone six months and older, with only rare exceptions.

SOMC has retail pharmacy locations on SOMC’s Portsmouth Family Health Center, Wheelersburg Family Health Center and West Union Family Health Center. They are also available in the pharmacy located on SOMC’s Main Campus.

SOMC has Family Health Centers located in Ironton, Portsmouth, Waverly, West Union and Wheelersburg.

For more information, visit somc.org.

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