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Flu shots to be offered by Blue Cross, Blue Shield, YMCAs

Clinics include Holdrege, Lexington, McCook
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska and YMCA's in some Nebraska cities to offer flu shots
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska and YMCA's in some Nebraska cities to offer flu shots(AP)
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 10:43 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (KSNB) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) will host 14 flu vaccination clinics in early November, in collaboration with YMCAs across the state. Clinics will be open to all between the ages of nine and 64 at no cost to them, regardless of health insurance coverage.

“Our goal is to be there for all Nebraskans who need a flu shot and help protect the state from a COVID-19 and influenza ‘twindemic’ this year,” said Dr. Debra Esser, chief medical officer at BCBSNE. “It’s our pleasure to team up with local YMCAs to make these clinics available – whether participants are insured by us, another carrier or not at all.”

Clinics will be hosted at the following locations and times:

· Don Sjogren Community YMCA, 1415 Broadway, Holdrege, NE – Mon., Nov. 9, from 5-7 p.m.

· Twin Rivers YMCA, 6100 Twin Rivers Circle, Valley, NE – Mon., Nov. 9, from 8-11 a.m.

· Downtown YMCA, 430 S. 20th St., Omaha, NE – Tues., Nov. 10, from 8-11 a.m.

· Orthman Community YMCA, 1207 N. Grant St., Lexington, NE – Tues., Nov. 10, from 5-7 p.m.

· Armbrust YMCA, 5404 S. 168th St., Omaha, NE – Weds., Nov. 11, from 5-8 p.m.

· Ed Thomas YMCA of McCook, 901 W., E St., McCook, NE – Weds., Nov. 11, from 8-10 a.m.

· Southwest YMCA, 13010 Atwood Ave., Omaha, NE – Weds., Nov. 11, from 8-11 a.m.

· Columbus Family YMCA, 3912 38th St., Columbus, NE – Weds., Nov. 11, from 4-6 p.m.

· Sarpy YMCA, 1111 E. First St., Papillion, NE – Thurs., Nov. 12, from 8-11 a.m.

· Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA–Siouxland, 601 Riverview Dr., South Sioux City, NE – Thurs., Nov. 12, from 4-6 p.m.

· Copple Family YMCA, 8700 Yankee Woods Dr., Suite B, Lincoln, NE – Thurs., Nov. 12, from 4-7 p.m.

· Beatrice Mary Family YMCA, 1801 Scott St., Beatrice, NE – Thurs., Nov. 12, from 5-7 p.m.

· Maple Street YMCA, 7502 Maple St., Omaha, NE – Fri., Nov. 13, from 8-11 a.m.

· Butler-Gast YMCA, 3501 Ames Ave., Omaha, NE – Sat., Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Vaccinations will be administered by OccuVAX, an independent company contracted by BCBSNE and covered by most major health insurance plans. BCBSNE will cover the cost of all other shots provided at these clinics.

“We are fortunate to be able to open our doors to the community right now and want to help eliminate any barriers families may have to protecting themselves from the flu,” said Chris Tointon, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Omaha. “It’s incredible that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is providing vaccinations, regardless of insurance coverage and, on behalf of YMCAs across the state, I’m proud that we’re able to help them do it.”

Flu vaccinations will be available to anyone between the ages of nine and 64. Due to a shortage, high doses for Medicare-eligible patients ages 65 and older will not be provided.

Preregistration is strongly preferred, though not required. Participants can create a basic OccuVAX profile and make an appointment at the OccuVAX web site.

If insured, participants are asked to provide their health insurance information at the time they set their appointment. Walk-ins will also be asked to provide insurance information if they have it.

BCBSNE, OccuVAX clinicians and each YMCA will be practicing COVID-19 safety measures. Clinic participants will be asked to wear face masks, social distance, hand-sanitize frequently and stay home if experiencing any fever, COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.

Flu facts:

  • Every year, millions of people (about 8% of the U.S. population) get the flu.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends anyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot.
  • A flu shot can reduce one’s risk of becoming sick with the flu by 40 to 60%, per the CDC.
  • According to the CDC, during the 2018-19 flu season, the flu shot helped prevent:
  • 4.4 million illnesses
  • 2.3 million medical visits
  • 58,000 hospitalizations
  • 3,500 deaths

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