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Get Vaccinated for Expected Flu Resurgence

In recent years, precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also prevented the spread of influenza. Now that COVID-19 guidelines have relaxed in most public places and many people are leaving special measures like physical distancing and wearing face masks behind, the flu is expected to make a big comeback this year.  

Australia is experiencing its worst flu season in five years, and federal health officials have warned that the U.S. could face a similar experience. Australia’s winter spans April through October, and its flu season is often a good predictor of what will happen during America’s fall and winter months. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older receive a flu vaccination and health experts are recommending seniors age 65 and older get a high-dose version of the vaccine. The flu vaccine is especially important for people who are at higher risk of health complications, hospitalization or death from influenza. 

“If you work in health care, have a chronic health condition or are over age 65, you are at higher risk and definitely do not want to skip the flu vaccine,” said Erik Rueckert, DO, of Samaritan Medical Clinics – North Albany. “But I recommend it for everyone. We expect to see a lot of flu going around, and after almost three years of the pandemic, who wants to miss school or work for the flu?” 

Flu vaccination helps with both individual and community health. 

“The flu shot reduces your chances of getting sick, and if you do still get the flu, your symptoms will likely be a lot less severe,” said Dr. Rueckert. “By getting the flu shot, you are also doing your part to help prevent the spread of flu in the community, such as to loved ones who may have a higher risk of complications.”

To make getting flu shots quick and easy, drive-through flu vaccination events will be offered for Samaritan patients this fall. If you have had any visit with a Samaritan health care provider – whether in a clinic, hospital, laboratory or imaging test – and have a Samaritan Health Services medical record, you are eligible to get your flu vaccine at one of Samaritan’s drive-up vaccination events. 

Regular and high-dose flu vaccines will be available for ages 6 months and older at the drive-through events. No appointment is needed. Everyone age 2 years and older is asked to please wear a face mask. 

Albany – 400 Hickory St. NW
Oct. 8, 8 a.m. to noon
Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to noon

Corvallis – 2555 NE Belvue St.
Oct. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lebanon – 35 Mullins Drive, next to Samaritan Urgent Care
Oct. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lincoln City – 3011 NE 28th St.
Oct. 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Newport – Center for Health Education, 740 SW Ninth St. 
Oct. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sweet Home – 679 Main St.
Oct. 19, 1 to 7 p.m.

(COVID-19 vaccination will not be available at these drive-through events. Please contact your primary care provider or visit for COVID-19 vaccination opportunities.)

If you can’t make it to one of the drive-through events, check in with your primary care provider about flu vaccination or visit a Samaritan Pharmacy location in Albany, Corvallis or Lebanon. 

Additional flu vaccination opportunities in the community may be found by calling 211 or visiting