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Food for flu shots gets 1,500 pounds

Canned goods surround the tree at the SEUDHD office.

Sun Advocate reporter

A flu shot may be a necessary vaccination. However, for those without insurance, getting the shot was a difficult process. But thanks to a program at the Southeastern Utah District Health Department, shots were available to the public with a bit of a twist. Not only were those who needed the vaccination helping themselves, but they were also helping others in the process.

The week of Dec. 5 - 11 is National Influenza Vaccination Week and the health department offered a deal for those who need a flu shot by giving them out for free, no questions asked. All they asked for in return was for each person to bring in two cans of food, which goes toward helping fill the local food banks in time for the holidays. A flu shot normally costs around $23 - $25.

With the program completed, the health department collected over 1,500 pounds of food in the entire district, including about 790 pounds of canned foods at the Price office, 28 S. 100 E., according to Terrie Wright, public information officer with SEUDHD.

About 350 flu shots were given out to the public during the event which started last Monday and concluded on Thursday.

"It's a great service to the community," said Wright.

The people who stopped by for a shot brought the canned foods with them and by the amount of food collected for the local food bank, the event was considered to be a success, Wright said.

"Some people brought more cans of food than we asked for to get a shot," she said. "And some people brought cans of food and they didn't need to get a shot."

The event was created as a way to put to use of an excess of flu vaccinations and provide an opportunity for those who may have "fallen through the cracks" and were not able to get a shot anywhere else, Wright said.

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