WEIRTON - The Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Tri-State Medical Group, will offer flu shots on a walk-in basis between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Oct. 17.
The Weirton Chamber Office is located at 3145 Pennsylvania Ave.
All Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans with flu vaccination coverage will be billed on each attendee's behalf.
Two new strains of influenza have begun circling the globe, and the updated vaccine appears to work well against them, government officials said Thursday.
A yearly vaccination now is recommended for nearly everybody, but new figures released Thursday show that last year 52 percent of children and just 39 percent of adults were immunized.
But even though seniors are at especially high risk of severe illness or death if they catch the flu, just 66 percent of them were immunized, a number that has been slowly dropping for several years.
The only ones who shouldn't get vaccinated are babies younger than 6 months and people with severe allergies to the eggs used to make the vaccine.
Flu specialists can't say how bad this winter's flu season might be. Influenza strains constantly evolve, and some cause more illness than others.
Only one ingredient in this year's flu vaccine was retained from last year's, protection against the H1N1 strain that caused the 2009 swine flu pandemic and has been the main kind of influenza circulating since. Also new in this year's shot is protection against a different Type B strain.
Flu typically starts to appear in October or November, and peaks in January or February.
Also this year, public health groups are urging workers in doctors' offices, hospitals and particularly nursing homes, where patients are especially vulnerable, to do a better job getting vaccinated.