Fairbanks Public Health Center hosts Flu and Bivalent COVID booster clinic

Cold and flu season is upon us, which is part of the reason the Fairbanks Public Health Center is holding a flu and and booster clinic.
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 5:02 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Public Health Center, along with the Fairbanks North Star Borough Emergency Management Team, Volunteers in Policing, Support from Eielson Air Force Base, and many volunteers with the community are hosting a COVID bivalent booster and Flu Clinic Thursday in the Centennial Center at Pioneer Park.

Shelly Foint-Anderson works as Public Health Nurse Manager for Fairbanks Public Health Center. She said now is the time to get up to date on vaccines and booster shots. “Even though COVID, in general, is declining we still have [the] virus floating around in our community.”

Alaska trails behind national trends - so at this point, if there is a spike in flu and COVID cases, Alaska will see them sooner rather than later. Foint-Anderson said healthcare workers are starting to see the flu impact Fairbanks and other neighboring communities. “Every year, flu can have a different variant, and so it is really, really important to have a current flu vaccine,” she explained.

Foint-Anderson said staying up to date with the current flu vaccine and COVID booster can help keep everyone safe just before the holiday season. “We think about people getting ready to travel for the holidays, get on planes, go to various places, and if you are not protected for both COVID and for flu, someone might get very, very ill,” she said.

Currently, the updated Bivalent booster is the vaccine recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Bivalent booster protects against both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the Omicron variant BA. 4 and BA. 5.

According to the CDC, “Previous boosters are called ‘monovalent’ because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated (bivalent) boosters.” (more information HERE)

“We can do flu for children as young as 6 months of age, and we are going to be able to provide the bivalent boosters 12 years and older,” Foint-Anderson explained. She also wanted the public to know this is an event for the whole family.

The Flu and Booster Clinic will run from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 20, and is open to the public at Pioneer Park in the Centennial Center. The clinic will be free of charge.

Those who may have any questions regarding the event or the flu shot or Bivalent booster are encouraged to call the Fairbanks Public Health Center at (907) 452-1776.

Foint-Anderson also noted those who are not able to make it to the event but are still interested in a flu or COVID booster shot can call the Fairbanks Public Health Center and make an appointment.