Testing and vaccines encouraged heading into the holiday season

Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and health professionals want everyone to stay healthy.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 8:00 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and health professionals want everyone to stay healthy.

This comes as the flu, COVID, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus are all making people sick. This year’s flu season came earlier than normal and central Nebraska has not been immune. The Centers for Disease and Prevention rate Nebraska as having a high flu activity rate.

To help bring that rate down, Grand Island Public Schools and the Central District Health Department hosted vaccines clinics in all three GIPS middle schools on Monday.

Sherry Dockweiler is a program nurse with CDHD and she helped administer those vaccines and told Local4 News those shots are important as the holidays arrive.

“We think that it’s very important for everybody to have their booster, the new booster has the Omicron four and five in it,” Dockweiler said. “And it is the best way to protect people because they’re is just going to be a lot of germs out there, a lot of people getting together, we want to see each other, we want to get together but we want them to be protected.”

Doctor June Steely with Nomi Health said in addition to vaccines testing for COVID can still be a great preventive measure.

“I think the real value in testing for COVID is that it often has asymptomatic cases that are contagious,” Dr. Steely said. “So, if you don’t have symptoms and you are going to be gathered with family particularly family members that have compromised immune systems or are older, it’s really good to know you don’t have COVID.”

The flu and COVID vaccines are available at most local pharmacies, with some like Hy-Vee even giving rewards to people who get their shot with them.