If you were looking to get your dog or cat a rabies shot, and yourself a COVID-19 or flu vaccination, the Cumberland County Health Department has an opportunity for you.
You and your pet can get immunization shots together Oct. 9 at the Health Department through its “Vax Your Pet, Vax Yourself” event.
Dogs and cats can get rabies vaccinations for $5 each and their owners can get free COVID-19, flu, and back-to-school immunizations at the Health Department at 1235 Ramsey St. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Health Department will also be raffling off $100 gift cards to different grocery and retail stores during the event every hour.
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Protect your furry friend from rabies
Dogs and cats over four months of age are required to have updated rabies shots, according to state law. To remain immunized, they must receive two rabies vaccinations one year apart and then one shot every three years afterward.
Dogs must be kept on a leash at the clinic and cats in a separate carrier, box, or left in the car with the air conditioner on or windows rolled down, according to the county health department.
Two rabies cases in the county:Injured raccoon tests positive for rabies in Fayetteville, second confirmed case of 2021
Only cash or exact change of $5 is accepted to pay for the rabies shot. No rolled coins, checks, or credit cards will be accepted, according to the health department.
Owners who have not vaccinated their dog or cat are subject to a civil penalty of $100. Owners are also responsible for any damage their pet causes at the clinic.
Protect yourself from viruses
For COVID-19 vaccinations, the Health Department is administering both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses and Johnson & Johnson is one shot.
The Pfizer vaccine is available for children 12 and older with parent or guardian consent. Booster shots are now available for those who got the Pfizer vaccine and are 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The health department and CDC are encouraging anyone between 18 and 65 who have gotten the Pfizer shot to get their booster six months after their initial second dose.
Additionally, a back-to-school list of vaccinations required for students K-12 will be available at the Health Department’s clinic. A list of all required immunizations can be found online at the state’s Immunization Branch. The deadline for immunization records has been extended to Nov. 1, according to the county health department.
Parents, caregivers and guardians are mandated to present immunization records and health assessment transmittal forms 30 days after a student’s first day of school. After that time frame, a student will not be allowed to attend school until the forms have been presented, according to state law.
Lastly, health officials are encouraging the public to get flu shots. The event will offer free shots regardless of insurance status. Participants will fill out a short registration form upon arrival, according to the health department.
However, the health department says if people are insured, the health department will make a copy of insurance cards and the insurance company will be billed.
Children 18 and younger are eligible for flu shots through the Vaccines for Children program. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
STD testing will be offered
The Cumberland County Health Department’s Sexually Transmitted Disease clinic will also be open during the event. Confidential testing for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and other STDs will be available. Testing is free and walk-ins are welcomes, according to the health department.
The vaccination event is sponsored by funding from the Cornelia “Neill” Bullock Wilkins Charitable Endowment Fund for Health of the Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc.
Organizations like the Cumberland County Public Library, Positive Parenting Program, and the public health education and tobacco cessation education teams will be present at the event distributing free items and information about their services.
Regional Enterprise Reporter Kristen Johnson can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3570.
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