Reno/Sparks, Nev. Oct. 8, 2021 – The Washoe County Health District is hosting a free drive-through flu vaccine clinic Saturday, Oct. 9, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.

The drive-through flu vaccine event makes it easy and convenient as anyone 6 months and older can receive it while in the same vehicle. Those under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

High-dose senior flu shots (for those 65+) are not available at this event but can be found at local pharmacies and at Community Health Alliance. Seniors who can’t get the high-dose shot should consider getting the regular flu shot as it still offers important protection from flu.

What: Drive-through flu vaccine clinic

Where: Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, 1350 N Wells Ave, Reno (Entrance at Sadleir Way and Wells Avenue)

Who: Everyone 6 months of age or older, consult doctor with questions

When: Saturday, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Form: Speed up your vaccine process! Print, fill out and bring screening questionnaire in advance

Cost: Free, no insurance required

Notes: No appointments required. COVID-19 vaccine will also be available and can be administered before or after flu vaccine

Flu vaccinations help prevent serious complications from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, in particular, those 65 years and older should get the vaccine and those with chronic health conditions like asthma, heart disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease. See more about those with higher risk of developing flu-related complications.

The American Committee on Immunization Practices also said that getting the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time is OK.

“We had exceptionally low flu cases and deaths last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic with many people wearing masks, socially distancing and working and going to school remotely,” said Kevin Dick, District Health Officer in Washoe County. “While masks are still mandated at indoor public places, fewer people are working remotely and schools are fully open. Because of that, we expect flu cases to rise significantly this year and it’s very important that those 6 months and older get the flu vaccine.”

The CDC says the seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against the most common flu viruses for the upcoming season. While vaccine effectiveness can vary, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by 40-60%. Vaccine effectiveness can vary due to the numerous types of flu viruses circulating and in part based on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine.

A typical flu season is October through May, with high flu activity occurring between December and February. Washoe County Health District’s Flu Surveillance Program tracks flu data on our website. Here are some flu facts.

  • Flu vaccines are widely available in the community and not just at the Health District
    • Community Health Alliance has several flu and COVID-19 clinics available, see events calendar here
    • Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Costco and other grocery store pharmacies administer flu vaccines
  • During the 2019-20 flu season, 7 flu-associated deaths were reported in Washoe County
    • During the 2020-2021 flu season, 1 flu-associated death was reported. The low number of deaths was due to increased mask wearing, social distancing and remote school and work
  • According to the State of Nevada’s flu vaccine dashboard, 180,925 Washoe County residents received the flu shot in during the 2020-21 flu season (37% of Washoe County residents)
    • That was the second highest percentage of all Nevada counties (Carson City was first with 50.6%)
  • Nevada and Ohio had the highest level of influenza-like-illness (ILI) reported in the nation during the 2020-21 flu season, according to the CDC
  • All flu vaccines in the United States are “quadrivalent” vaccines, which means they protect against four different flu viruses: influenza A(H1N1) virus, influenza A(H3N2), and two influenza B viruses
  • Those who are pregnant are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine, especially those in their third trimester as the vaccine can help protect the baby after birth during their first months of life (when they are too young to be vaccinated)
  • People with flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins
    • Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick
  • More flu Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) can be found here
  • High dose senior flu shots (for those 65+) are not available at these Saturday events but seniors are encouraged to contact pharmacies about availability. Seniors who can’t get the high-dose shot should consider getting the regular flu shot as it still offers important protection from flu

For more information about flu in Washoe County, visit our website.

The Washoe County Health District is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here