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Votes

Editorial: Get a Flu Shot, Register to Vote

Preventative Medicine

Get One

Flu shots are available on a walk-in basis at most pharmacies including Walgreen, CVS, Rite Aid, Giant, Safeway and independent pharmacies; most urgent care clinics and at area hospitals.

Inova Clinics

Inova Alexandria Hospital, every Friday 3-6 p.m. until Dec. 13. HEC Rm 1 & 2, 4320 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304

Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, every Saturday 1-4 p.m. until Dec. 14, Medical Plaza Building Conference Room A, 3700 Joseph Siewick Drive, Fairfax, VA 22033

Inova Fairfax Hospital, every Saturday until Dec. 14, 9 a.m. - noon, The Atrium, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, every Tuesday until Dec. 17, 9 a.m. - noon, Hospital Lobby, 2501 Parker’s Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306

Inova HealthPlex–Lorton, every Sunday until Dec.15, 1–3 p.m. Conference Room, 9321 Sanger Street, Lorton, VA 22079

Getting a flu shot has never been easier.

With the Center for Disease Control shut down along with almost all of the Federal Government, it falls to the states to monitor influenza activity.

Visitors to cdc.gov are greeted with:

“Due to the lapse in government funding, only web sites supporting excepted functions will be updated unless otherwise funded. As a result, the information on this website may not be up to date, the transactions submitted via the website may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.”

No update is required to the CDC recommendation that every child, woman and man over the age of six months be vaccinated for the flu every year, preferably by October.

Virginia and Maryland are both reporting confirmed cases of influenza at a “sporadic” level. Since it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take full effect, now is the time to be vaccinated if you haven’t yet had the shot.

Every year, 5-to-20 percent of U.S. residents become sick with the flu, with 200,000 hospitalizations. Children are especially vulnerable with about 20,000 children under the age of 5 hospitalized. Depending on the severity of the flu in a given year, from 1976 to 2006, estimates of annual deaths ranged from 3,000 to a high of about 49,000, according to the CDC.

Remember that getting the flu shot is also community service. You might be strong and healthy and think that you will not suffer too much if you get the flu. But everyone has contact with people in the high-risk groups: people over 65, children under 5, pregnant women, people with other illnesses. So have your shot to protect other people.

Deadline to Register to Vote, Oct. 15

To vote on Election Day, you must be registered at your current address no later than Oct. 15, 2013. You can check your registration status online by visiting the State Board of Elections website at www.sbe.virginia.gov.

Fairfax County Board of Elections, 703-222-0776, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/eb/, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Suite 232, Fairfax, 22035; FAX 703-324-2205; email voting@fairfaxcounty.gov

State Board of Elections, 804-864-8901, Toll Free: 800-552-9745, FAX: 804-371-0194, email: info@sbe.virginia.gov, http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Voter_Information/Index.html.