The weather outside may still feel like summer but the fact is that flu season is here and it’s never too early to get vaccinated. The Chatham County Health Department will hold a drive-through flu vaccination clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, in the parking lot adjacent to the soccer fields at the old health department (entrance on Eisenhower Drive). No appointment is necessary. Cost for both the injectable (shot) and nasal spray form is $25. A high dose flu vaccine is also being offered for people ages 65 and older, and it is designed to provide the best protection for that age group. The high dose vaccine will be $40 per dose.
Getting vaccinated against the flu is recommended for everyone six months of age and older. Neither the flu shot nor the nasal spray can cause the flu. The shot is approved for use in healthy people 6 months of age and older, people with chronic medical conditions, and pregnant women. The nasal spray is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
The flu virus is easily spread through coughs and sneezes and by touching something with the virus on it and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. That’s why good health habits are also important including staying home when you’re sick; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; coughing or sneezing into your elbow and not your hand; washing your hands often with soap and water; and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Adults who visit the health department or their healthcare provider to get the flu vaccine are encouraged to ask about additional vaccinations that can help protect them against potentially harmful diseases. A questionnaire about recommended adult vaccines can be found by going to www.gachd.org and clicking on the “Immunizations and Vaccinations” link under the Quick Links menu. The questionnaire is listed under the “Adult Immunizations” heading.
For more information please call the Chatham County Health Department at 356-2441. For more information on the flu vaccine, please visit the CDC’s influenza web site at www.cdc.gov/ flu/