Health care professionals are really serious about getting the word out on flu shots. Between dealing with COVID-19 and the upcoming flu season, they highly recommend getting vaccinated against the flu to avoid double trouble.

So, it totally makes sense for the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) to offer up chances for Rockford area residents to get that flu shot taken care of absolutely free. With money being closely watched and health concerns being top-of-mind, it's a great combination.

And these free flu shot clinics are being done drive-through style.

Here are the details from the WCHD, so you can make your plans accordingly:

  1. Saturday, October 10th: 10am-2pm at Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. First Street, Pecatonica
  2. Saturday, October 17th: 10am-2pm at North Towne Mall, 3600 N. Main St. Rockford
  3. Saturday, October 24th: 10am-2pm at the Winnebago County Health Department, 555 North Court Street, Rockford

Being someone who spends a lot (way too much, to be honest) of time online, I'm aware that there are lots of myths about flu shots being spread around the various social media platforms. Here are a few that have been debunked as being totally false:

MYTH: You can catch the flu from the vaccine.

Nope. The flu shot is made from an inactivated virus that can't transmit infection. So, people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway. It takes a week or two to get protection from the vaccine. But people assume that because they got sick after getting the vaccine, the flu shot caused their illness.

MYTH: Healthy people don't need to be vaccinated.

Healthy folks can benefit from being vaccinated. Current CDC guidelines recommend yearly vaccination against influenza for everyone older than 6 months of age, including pregnant women.

MYTH: You don't need to get a flu shot every year.

The influenza virus changes (mutates) each year. So, getting vaccinated each year is important to make sure you have immunity to the strains most likely to cause an outbreak.

MYTH: You can catch the flu from going out in cold weather without a coat, with wet hair or by sitting near a drafty window.

This was one of my grandmother's go-to theories. Unfortunately for her, it's just not true. The only way to catch the flu is by being exposed to the influenza virus. Flu season coincides with the cold weather. So, people often associate the flu with a cold, drafty environment. But they are not related.

Don't believe me? Well then, let's bring in a YouTube doctor: