MISSOULA — Normally when people walk into Imagine Nation Brewing Company, they come for a beer. But on Friday, people came through the doors for a free flu shot.
“You know a place that it's public and that people can have access and see and ask questions without having to feel like that they have to go to a, like a health facility or something,” said Fernanda M.B Krum, Imagine Nation Brewing Company general manager and co-owner.
“We're trying to get out into the community with mobile vaccination clinics for both flu and for COVID, because we want to meet you where you are, we want to interact with you where you work, play and socialize,” said Cindy Farr, Missoula City-County Health Department COVID-19 incident response commander.
Farr says that last year there was not a single confirmed case of the flu in the state of Montana.
However, with the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic, health officials say that it is more important than ever to protect ourselves from illnesses like the flu.
“You can get COVID and flu at the same time, and that is not what anybody wants. And we're already seeing that our hospitals are really pressed for capacity and so the best thing that we can do to help our healthcare infrastructure," said Farr. "And, you know, to help slow the spread of flu in our community in addition to COVID is to get flu vaccine.”
The combination of respiratory illnesses COVID and the flu, Farr said, could be deadly.
The health department says that they have seen fewer vaccinations across the board, and more people are hesitant to get vaccines out of fear.
“Definitely seeing that less people are getting vaccinated, and we have seen that even in, you know like childhood vaccinations as well,” Farr told MTN News.
However with the holidays coming up, Farr says that getting vaccinated can only help protect those who you love.
The partnership of local businesses with the health department is one that helps promote the health and wellness of the community, while supporting local businesses.
“We, we care for the health of everybody in the community and we know they're doing a wonderful job in working really hard to keep Missoula residents as healthy and as safe as possible," Krum told MTN News. "So if we can be part of it, it's great.”
Farr says this has been a huge success and they have seen more people get vaccinated at places like Imagine Nation Brewing, than they do in their clinics.