PeaceHealth Oregon Encourages Flu Vaccinations

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — This flu season could be severe, say experts who have been tracking flu trends in the Southern Hemisphere.

To protect ourselves and our community, everyone is encouraged to get their flu shot, ideally by the end of this month.

“Getting vaccinated is a quick, safe and easy way to prevent getting the flu and spreading it to others,” said Dr. Bob Pelz, PeaceHealth’s medical director for infection prevention.

“I get the flu shot every year because I have a responsibility to do everything I can to protect my patients, colleagues, friends and family as much as possible,” he said.

Who should be vaccinated and when?

Flu season usually begins in November or December and can quickly ramp up. The CDC recommends getting a flu shot before the end of October — although it’s never too late as long as the disease is still present in the community. It usually takes about two weeks after an injection for the vaccine to take full effect.

Vaccination is safe and effective for almost everyone. These particularly vulnerable groups should make the flu vaccine a priority:

  • Anyone aged 65 and over
  • People with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease
  • pregnant people
  • Children under 5 years old

“We encourage families to bring their children 6 months and older for their flu shots as soon as possible,” said Dr. Serena Black, pediatric hospitalist at Sacred Heart Medical Center in RiverBend and director of children’s medical services at PeaceHealth. .

“The flu is highly contagious and can easily spread among children in day care centers and schools and has the potential to make children very sick. Even if they have mild symptoms, infected children can transmit the flu to their grandparents or others at high risk of complications if they become ill.

Where are flu vaccines available?

Pediatrics: PeaceHealth Pediatrics has reserved times specifically for flu shots at the RiverBend Pavilion clinic in Springfield and the University District and Barger clinics in Eugene. Please call your pediatrician’s office to schedule an appointment.

A clinic for children 6 months to 11 years old in the Cottage Grove area will be held Saturday, October 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center, 1515 Village Drive. No appointment is necessary.

Visit for dates and times of all pediatric immunization clinics.

Adults: Many PeaceHealth family practice clinics hold flu shot clinics. Please plan using MyPeaceHealth or call ahead. For more details on offerings in each community, please visit

Area pharmacies are also a good option.

What else can I do to protect myself against the flu?

Continue to wash your hands frequently. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash. Avoid close contact with sick people and limit contact with others when you feel sick.

The flu shot is never a 100% guarantee that you won’t get sick, but it can significantly reduce your risk of getting sick. And even if you do catch the flu, you’ll likely experience milder symptoms if you’ve been vaccinated.

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Washington, is a nonprofit Catholic health care system that provides care to communities in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers, and 10 medical centers serving urban and rural communities in the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what became PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared their expertise and transferred their wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to meet the unmet health care needs in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the Founding Sisters and continues in a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration, and social justice in fulfilling its mission. Visit us online at

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