OGDEN -- On Thursday evening, children in Weber County will have the opportunity to get a flu shot, free of charge.
Thanks to a generous donation given to Community Nursing Services by the Ogden-based Ralph Nye Charitable Foundation, children with CHIP, Medicaid or no insurance will be able to receive the yearly vaccine from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Marshall White Center, 222 28th St.
"This very generous donation from the Ralph Nye Foundation was given to us for the purpose of immunizations within the Ogden area, so we looked around to find the best possible place we could think of to utilize this money," said Mavis McAffee, program director for Community Nursing Services. "We decided the best place for this service would be the Marshall White Center."
McAffee said children are offered a free flu shot, but adults also can be immunized for a discounted cost of $15.
"We will have our mascot there, which is a blue flu bug," she said. "He's a big hit with the kids."
Community Nursing Services is a community nonprofit company that specializes in home health care and hospice. It also has a very large immunization program.
"We give around 85,000 to 100,000 immunizations statewide every year, and the majority of them are influenza vaccines," she said.
According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza is more dangerous to children than the common cold. Each year, according to the CDC, 20,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized because of complications from the flu. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, 345 deaths in children were reported in a one-month period.
Severe complications are most common in children age 2 and younger, and those with chronic health problems, such as asthma and diabetes, are at especially high risk.
The vaccine is recommended for children age 6 months and older. It takes about two weeks for immunity to take effect.