PORTLAND, Ore. – Kaiser Permanente is offering free flu shots to its health plan members at most of its primary care medical offices in Oregon and Southwest Washington starting Monday, Oct. 20, and continuing through Friday, Nov. 14. The shots will be given on a drop-in basis weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Participating Kaiser Permanente medical offices include Beaverton, Cascade Park, Interstate Central, Longview-Kelso, Mt. Scott, North Lancaster, Rockwood, Salmon Creek, Skyline, Sunset, Tualatin and Vancouver.
There will also be special Saturday flu-shot clinics from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the health care organization’s Beaverton, Mt. Scott, Interstate Central, Cascade Park and Longview-Kelso medical offices. In Salem, the Saturday clinic at the Skyline Medical Office will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kaiser Permanente expects to have enough flu vaccine for all of its members who wish to be vaccinated. The shots are especially recommended for those at highest risk from influenza: people over age 65; people with chronic health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, Ore. asthma; and those who care for them.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it takes one to two weeks after being vaccinated for antibodies against influenza to develop and provide protection.
“Getting a flu shot in late October or early November offers plenty of time for people to build up their immunity before the flu season gets underway, which is usually late December through early March,” says Joseph Kane, MD, chief of Kaiser Permanente’s Infectious Disease Department.
For the most current information about Kaiser Permanente’s flu vaccination program, from the Portland area please call 503-813-2000 and press 6 or from outside the Portland area call 1-800-813-2000 and press 6. Or log onto the Kaiser Permanente Web site at kaiserpermanente.org.