Douglas County residents can get free standard flu shots Oct. 17 at a mass immunization clinic at Douglas High School.
The event is sponsored by Douglas County Emergency Management Office in conjunction with the Douglas County community health nurse and Carson City Health & Human Services.
"The free seasonal flu vaccinations will help the agencies practice their response to a large-scale public health emergency," said Tod Carlini, East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts chief and director of the emergency management office.
Carlini said the Oct. 17 clinic is to provide the standard influenza inoculation.
A follow-up clinic will be conducted to provide immunization against the H1N1 "swine flu" virus when that vaccine is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"A coalition of leaders representing numerous public service agencies has been meeting over several months with officials from public health agencies and the medical community to prepare for what Douglas County may need for any inoculation or local pandemic response," he said.
The free immunization clinic is a collaborative effort between emergency management, Douglas County and Carson City health services, the Douglas County school district, Washoe Tribe, public health professionals, American Red Cross, State of Nevada and other public agencies.
Adults age 50 and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic diseases including asthma are recommended to receive the flu vaccine.
Each year, Carlini said statistics show influenza-related complications are responsible for 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations. With an expected 132 million doses of influenza vaccine, the CDC recommends that anyone wanting to reduce their risk of getting influenza or transmitting it receive the flu vaccine.
"Developing disaster preparedness plans and practicing them on a regular basis - as we do - helps us to better respond during a disaster," Carlini said.
The free clinic is set for 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Douglas High School gymnasium, 1670 Highway 88, Minden. The clinic is open to all ages, but minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Information, 782-9040 or 887-2190.