It’s a good season to get a shot.

We’re talking about getting a flu shot, not a gunshot or a shot of alcohol — for medicinal purposes only, of course.

Two local pharmacies — Walgreen’s and CVS — are advertising “free” flu shots and the Cochise County health department usually offers these immunizations at scheduled clinics from October through May. Steer your internet browser to either of the pharmacy websites (wallgreens.com, CVS.com), or look up the county’s information at www.cochise.az.gov.

The most recent “flu season,” which is usually measured between October and May, resulted in about 13 million people contracting influenza, of which about 120,000 were hospitalized.

This year, especially with the danger of the coronavirus, it makes good sense to “get a shot.”

Speaking of getting vaccinated against illness, medical experts tell us we are still a few months away from the general availability of a vaccine that will cure Covid-19.

Unless you’re in Russia or China, of course.

Mass immunizations began last month in Russia with “Sputnik V,” the name of that country’s coronavirus vaccine. In China, it’s not clear how many people have received coronavirus vaccines. Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned company with a vaccine candidate in late-stage trials, has said hundreds of thousands of people have received its shots. Sinovac, a Beijing-based company, said more than 10,000 people in Beijing had been injected with its vaccine.

The vaccines being deployed by these countries, however, don’t meet the standards required by the Food and Drug Administration in this country, or a similar agency in Europe. More testing is needed before doctors and scientists are confident that a vaccine for Covid is both safe and effective.

Until then, keep wearing your face mask and follow the protocols aimed at keeping you safe and healthy.

As of Friday, the number of coronavirus cases in Cochise County had climbed to 67, which is substantially more cases than were reported less than one month ago. As has been the case throughout most of this pandemic, the highest number of cases are in the Douglas area (32), followed by Sierra Vista (6 to 10). Zip codes in other parts of the county are five or fewer cases of the coronavirus.

Unfortunately, it’s time to get back to the basics many of us have been following for the past seven months to push the number of cases downward.

If you don’t think the safety protocols, including wearing a face mask, have been effective, consider the following: The number of COVID-19 cases in Arizona peaked between June 29 and July 2, stabilized between July 3 and July 12, and declined by approximately 75 percent between July 13 and August 7, according to the federal Center for Disease Control.

The primary reason for that dramatic drop, the CDC reported, were mandates declared by communities requiring face masks, and universal enforcement of social distancing and other safety protocols.

Hang in there, it won’t be long until this nightmare ends and the coronavirus will be distant memory!

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