Flu season has taken on a whole new dimension this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the collective desire to stay well, and avoid burdening the health care system during a pandemic.

According to the CDC, “Getting a flu vaccine is a simple step everyone can take to keep their immune and respiratory systems protected — and also help conserve potentially scarce health care resources. As an additional measure, Pneumonia vaccines are also recommended for anyone over age 65.”

RVNAhealth vaccination schedule

Flu and pneumonia vaccines will be available at RVNAhealth, 27 Governor Street, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturdays (by appointment only, except for drive-through clinics), 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in October and November. Additional community clinics may be found at RVNAhealth.org.

Appointments are strongly encouraged by calling 203-438-5555 or at RVNAhealth.org.

Drive-through clinics

Drive-through clinics will be held in the RVNAhealth parking lot from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m., Saturdays, Sept. 26, Oct. 10 and 24.

No appointments are needed; patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Enter through the Governor Street Rehabilitation & Wellness Center entrance — it will be well marked — and staff/volunteers will direct you.

New procedures

RVNAhealth has implemented new procedures this year to ensure the ongoing health and safety of its patients and staff.

· Appointments are strongly recommended to avoid extended waits and overcrowding, and a consent form should be completed in advance of the appointment. To schedule an appointment and/or complete the consent form, visit RVNAhealth.org.

· Upon arrival at RVNAhealth, park in the designated vaccine parking spots and call the designated number before entering the building. RVNAhealth staff will check you in on the phone and let you know when the nurse is ready to see you.

· All visitors must wear a face mask and sanitize their hands when entering the building.

· RVNAhealth follows strict infection control and hygiene practices and has extensive cleaning measures of all equipment and facilities. Treatment rooms have a newly installed filtration system to ensure absolute safety and rooms are cleaned before, after, and between appointments with medical-grade solutions.

The RVNAhealth building and organization has been operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and have been 100% successful in maintaining a COVID-free facility.

Free ice cream for those 18 and under

Not only do all youths, age 18 and under, receive a free flu vaccine courtesy of the State of CT, all kids who get their vaccine at RVNAhealth will receive a coupon for a free ice cream, compliments of Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe in Ridgefield.

Vaccine information

RVNAhealth offers two types of flu vaccines, plus pneumonia vaccines:

· Quadrivalent for ages 6 months and older;

· High dose for ages 65 and older, both Fluad & Fluzone are available;

· Prevnar13 and Pneumovax23 pneumonia vaccines are also available for individuals age 65+.

All vaccines are preservative-free.

Insurance information

RVNAhealth accepts the following forms of payment for flu and pneumonia vaccines:

· Medicare Part B

· Aetna

· Blue Cross Blue Shield

· ConnectiCare

· Harvard Pilgrim

For those without a participating insurance plan, payment will be accepted by check or credit card. Influenza vaccines for all children, age 18 and under, will be provided at no cost regardless of insurance status. For more information, visit RVNAhealth.org or call 203-438-5555.