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Health Department urges vaccines as Gallatin County sees increase in COVID-19 and flu cases

Posted at 3:23 PM, Oct 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-05 11:02:05-04

BOZEMAN — What's being called "a significant uptick" in COVID-19 and flu cases has been detected in Gallatin County, according to officials with the Gallatin City-County Health Department.

In a release, officials say it's important to take proper steps to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19, in order to minimize the strain on the healthcare system this fall and winter.

In September 2023, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved and authorized an updated COVID-19 vaccine that more closely targets currently circulating variants. The vaccine is approved for those age 12 and older, with Emergency Use Authorization for those six months to 11 years.

The release said the health department will be hosting a flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic will have walk-in availability for the flu vaccine; if vaccine supply remains at current levels, there will also be walk-in availability for the COVID-19 vaccine. The health department stresses, however, that COVID-19 vaccine doses may be limited for those without a scheduled appointment.

“Flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory viruses are showing up early and fast this fall,” states Lori Christenson, Gallatin City-County Health Officer. “It’s very important for our communities to do what we can to protect ourselves and others. Our goal remains to work alongside our community partners to ensure vaccine access across our communities. Be sure to stay up to date on your COVID-19 and flu vaccines, stay home when you are sick, wash your hands regularly and effectively, and follow masking recommendations, especially if you are sick.”

More information about scheduling an appointment for one of the health department's weekly clinics is available at the Gallatin City-County Health Department website.