Free flu vaccinations


With an increasing number of flu cases in the CNMI, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announced that it will be giving free flu vaccinations as a means to counter this trend.

In a statement over the weekend, CHCC said it has seen an increase in the number of influenza cases in the CNMI over the last few weeks, particularly among young children and people who are unvaccinated.

“Young children and older adults are more likely to get the flu because their immune system is not as healthy. Complications from the flu can include pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and the worsening of chronic conditions such as asthma. In severe cases, the flu may even require hospitalization,” CHCC warned.

The statement did not provide specific numbers.

The free flu shots will be administered at the CHCC Immunization Program clinic.

There will also be public outreaches on:

April 27 at the Community Mobile Literacy Fair at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, from 10am to 12:30pm;

April 30, 2019 at the Women’s Health Month kickoff at the Garapan Central Park, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm; and

May 3, 2019 at the Marianas March Against Cancer at the Airport Field, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

“In addition to providing free flu vaccines at the clinic, the Immunization Program is starting to do outreach at elementary schools and daycare centers to protect the most vulnerable members of the community,” the statement noted.

The best method to avoid the flu is through a “consistent and correct” handwashing technique.

CHCC recommends that you first wet your hands with clean running water before applying soap, then lather the soap between your hands, the backs of your hands, and between and under your fingers and nails for at least 20 seconds.

“Hum the ‘Happy Birthday’ song from beginning to end twice,” CHCC suggested as a makeshift timer.
Rinse after lathering and dry with a clean towel.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.
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