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Health professionals encourage vaccines as COVID and flu season loom

Local pharmacies and the health department allow walk in for vaccines
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Posted at 7:54 PM, Nov 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-07 22:27:11-05

BOZEMAN — Flu season is around the corner, and as a resident of Gallatin County, it's important to know what your resources are for vaccinations as respiratory viruses begin to spike this winter.

Albertson's Pharmacy offers many different vaccines including COVID-19 and influenza. Pharmacy Manager Brittney Bellew says COVID-19 numbers are on the rise.

As for the flu, she says "We haven't started seeing a lot of flu yet. That usually comes later in the winter."

Which makes now the time to get vaccinated.

"It's important to get the flu shot now, as it does take about two weeks for your body to build immunity," says Bellew.

According to Gallatin County Health Department Officer Lori Christenson, so far in 2023 there have been 12 flu cases and 2,595 COVID cases reported.

The Gallatin County Health Department is hosting a walk-in clinic Wednesday and Thursday for flu and COVID-19 vaccines.

Christenson says, "We had three walk-in clinics last week and they were really well attended. The severity of that disease is going to decrease significantly with that vaccine on board."

Christenson says it's still early in the season for the flu, but they "have seen cases a little bit sooner in the year than we normally see."

For Bellew, she's expecting to give out a lot of vaccines this year to prepare locals for the upcoming flu and COVID season.

"We stay pretty steady all day," says Bellew. "It's convenient for people because we do take walk-ins and you can do appointments."