Montgomery County wants you to say ‘BOO’ to the flu at the zoo

A giraffe is seen at Elmwood Park Zoo

A giraffe is seen at Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Halloween is fast approaching, as is the decidedly less enjoyable flu season.

In a nod to this annual crossover, Montgomery County is asking residents to say “BOO” to the flu at the zoo — specifically, the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown.

This Saturday, Oct. 9, the zoo will host a flu vaccine clinic. The event, a partnership between the Montgomery County Immunization Coalition (MCIC), the zoo, and Giant Pharmacy, will run from 9 a.m. to noon.

Anyone 3 years old and up who gets vaccinated will receive free admission to the zoo. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome. Those interested may register for the flu clinic online.

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Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, has called getting a flu shot this year “more important than ever” to keep families safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to protecting residents against the flu, Arkoosh encouraged flu shots to conserve medical resources for COVID-19 patients. Montgomery County, like nearly all of Pennsylvania, continues to see high levels of community transmission of COVID-19.

“Because flu and COVID-19 share many symptoms, preventing flu means fewer people will need to seek medical care,” county officials said in a statement.

Outside of the zoo flu clinic, people who live, work, or go to school in Montgomery County may opt to get a flu shot at a county-run COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to get their flu shot by the end of October.

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