EDITORIAL: Get flu, COVID-19 vaccines

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Sep. 29—County officials set up flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinics in the coming weeks and it's a good idea to get both.

Flu data dwindled as the global COVID-19 pandemic surged and made a resurgence — but it hasn't gone away as another sickness season approaches.

The Pittsburg County Health Department and McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management are partnering to conduct a pod for COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.

"That will be for the booster shots, first round and second round shots for those that need them — and we'll be doing drive-through flu shots at the same time at that pod," local OEM Director Kevin Enloe told us.

The dual-purpose vaccination pod for COVID-19 shots and flu jabs is set for Oct. 13 at the Expo Center in McAlester.

Oklahoma State Department of Health's COVID-19 data on Wednesday showed 11,959 active COVID-19 cases statewide — including 116 in Pittsburg County.

Flu deaths and hospitalizations since September 2020 total just 285, per OSDH data.

Medical experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccination, which is safe and effective.

The CDC states mRNA vaccines help cells make a protein that triggers an immune response to protect against infectious diseases. The vaccines do not give someone COVID-19, nor do the vaccines interact with DNA.

The county health department will also host a drive-through flu vaccination clinic Oct. 1 at its office at 1400 E. College Ave. in McAlester.

Vaccines have been proven to work with the virtual eradication of polio, smallpox, tetanus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, and more thanks to vaccines.

Studies from reputable sources show the vaccines work — the CDC, the Federal Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, the National Library of Medicine, the New England Journal of Medicine, the International Journal of Nursing Studies, the Mayo Clinic and many more.

We've said from the beginning that this isn't about being afraid — it's about taking personal responsibility to ensure that our family, friends and neighbors all make it through this.

McAlester Regional Health Center representatives, Pittsburg County Health Department officials and more local medical professionals continue urging people to get vaccinated.

Saint Francis Hospital System officials told CNHI it's safe to get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine.

As our county sees a dip after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, we urge everyone to get vaccinated so we can continue fighting with flu season just around the corner.

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