A visit to the Jefferson County Public Health department

Getting the flu shot takes five seconds

Posted 11/6/18

Even if it’s something as simple as administering a flu shot, nurses at the Jefferson County Public Health department enjoy helping everyone get the services they need. “A big part of what we do …

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A visit to the Jefferson County Public Health department

Getting the flu shot takes five seconds

Posted

Even if it’s something as simple as administering a flu shot, nurses at the Jefferson County Public Health department enjoy helping everyone get the services they need.

“A big part of what we do in pubic health is make connections,” said Melanie Rogers, a public health nurse with the Jeffco health department. “These connections are both with the patients themselves, and to help them connect with other resources and services in the community.”

For one Lakewood resident, Jefferson County Public Health was a recommendation from a Medicaid representative as a good place to receive a flu shot. This was when he moved to Colorado from New York about two years ago. On Oct. 29, he visited Jefferson County Public Health for the second year to get the flu shot.

“I don’t skip,” he said, whose identity is being withheld for patient confidentiality. “It’s so simple. It’s so easy. Why spread communicable diseases if you can avoid it?”

After Jefferson County Public Health Ann Shen greeted him in the waiting area and got him settled in the room, the two had a quick conversation:

“It looks like you’re up-to-date with everything, so you’re here just for the flu?” Shen said.

He answered yes.

Shen left the room for a few minutes to prepare the shot, then went over some prescreening questions: Are you ill today? Have you received any other immunizations recently?

Having answered no to all, Shen then administered the shot in the Lakewood resident’s right arm. It took about five seconds. Shen then told him he may experience a little redness or swelling for a day or two.

Rogers later explained that some people may also feel a little tired or experience a slight headache after getting the flu shot.

“That’s perfectly normal,” she said. “It’s your body’s response to the vaccine.”

Just make sure you get a good night’s sleep and stay hydrated, Rogers added.

The Lakewood resident, 53, has been getting the flu shot for as long as he can remember, he said.

“Call it good luck, good genes or maybe good flu shots,” he said, “but I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid.”

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