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Be Protected From Severe Illness This Winter by Staying Current on Recommended Vaccines

Influenza (flu) is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad and missing work, school, or family events, or it can result in more serious illness.

An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help reduce the risk of getting flu and any of its potentially serious complications. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death. While some people who get a flu vaccine may still get sick with influenza, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.

There is no combination flu and COVID vaccine planned for release at this time. However, people can get their flu shot and COVID booster on the same day. New boosters are now available to provide increased protection against Omicron variants.

When to get the updated COVID booster
At least 2 months after your last COVID dose – either a booster dose or your primary series.

Who should get the updated COVID booster
Individuals age 12 and up are eligible for the updated Pfizer booster, and adults age 18 and up are eligible for the updated Moderna booster.

“Knowing where you or your children are at in their COVID vaccine and booster series may be confusing but please reach out to speak with one of our public health nurses to help understand what’s the best next step and to find a vaccine locally,” said Kim Engel, Panhandle Public Health District Director. “The most important part is that you, your children, and your family are best protected from the flu and COVID these coming winter months.”

COVID vaccine and boosters are widely available across the Panhandle for individuals aged 6 months and over, there are no out-of-pocket expenses.

Panhandle Vaccine Locations

  • Box Butte/Grant: safeway.com
    • Walk-ins welcome
    • Dave’s Pharmacy Hemingford & Alliance, Monday-Friday, 8 AM – 5:30 PM
    • Alliance Community Pharmacy, Monday-Friday, 7:30 AM – 6 PM
  • Cheyenne/Deuel: Call to schedule an appointment 308-254-5544 | walmart.com | safeway.com
  • Dawes/Sioux: walmart.com | safeway.com
    • Walk-ins welcome
    • Western Community Health Resources, Monday-Friday, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM, Call 308-432-8979 to schedule an appointment outside these hours.
  • Garden: To schedule an appointment, call (308) 772-3283.
    • Regional West Garden County Clinic, Monday-Friday, 8 AM – 5 PM
  • Kimball: To schedule an appointment, call (308) 235-1966.
    • Walk-ins welcome Kimball Health Services, Monday-Friday, 8 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Morrill: Call to schedule an appointment
    • Walk-ins welcome
    • Morrill County Hospital Clinic (Bridgeport), Thursdays, 8 AM – 4:30 PM call 308-262-1755
    • Chimney Rock Medical Center (Bayard), Tuesdays, 8 AM – 4:30 PM call 308-586-1717
  • Sheridan: To schedule an appointment, call (308) 282-0401.
    • Walk-ins welcome
    • Gordon Rural Health Clinic, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM and 1 PM – 4 PM
  • Scotts Bluff/Banner: walmart.com | safeway.com | walgreens.com
    • Walk-ins welcome
    • Gering CAPWN Health Center, Monday-Friday, 9 AM-12 PM & 1 PM-4 PM
    • Scotts Bluff County Immunization Clinic, 313 W 38th St, Monday-Friday, 9:30 AM-4:30 PM. If you need an evening appointment, please call 630-1126.

If you are homebound or have a condition that makes it hard for you to access a COVID vaccine, call Janet Felix, LPN, at 308-672-4653. If you have lost your COVID vaccine card, go to https://tinyurl.com/2zh7uhhu.

COVID Testing Access
Free COVID test kits are available at community locations throughout the Panhandle. Find a location near you at https://tinyurl.com/4fkydcfe.

Residents can have as many as their family needs with a limit of six at one time at no charge. These are important to have on hand so if you or a family member feels a minor COVID-like symptom, you can quickly test to make a decision about how to keep yourself and others that may be around you healthy and safe.

Once picked up, individuals can perform the test on their own or be helped through a video call. If done through the video call, you will receive a certified lab report that can be used for travel, medical procedures, and other documentation needs.

Current COVID testing access can also be found at http://pphd.org/COVID-19.html.

Panhandle COVID Dashboard Update
The Panhandle COVID dashboard provides region-wide data on COVID trends around the area and is available at http://www.pphd.org/COVID-19.html. The Nebraska respiratory illness dashboard is available at https://atlas-dhhs.ne.gov/Atlas/Respiratory_Illness. For the most up to date information from the CDC, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Panhandle Public Health District, Region 21, 22, and 23 Emergency Management, and Scotts Bluff County Health Department are working as a unified command on this evolving situation. Essential updates will be regularly communicated to the public and community partners.

Panhandle Public Health District is working together to improve the health, safety, and quality of life for all who live, learn, work, and play in the Panhandle. Our vision is that we are a healthier and safer Panhandle Community. Visit our website www.pphd.org.

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