Grady County, Georgia-October 4, 2012
This week marks the official start of flu season and local health experts want to make sure you're protected.
The Grady County Health Department is extending their hours Oct. 4 to make it more convenient for people to get their flu vaccine.
The clinic will be opened until 6:30 p.m. and will only be offering vaccines during those hours so people can get them quickly.
Experts especially encourage young children, people with health problems, the elderly, and pregnant women to get the vaccine.
They recommend taking extra precautions this time of year.
"You always want to wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth or nose if your sneezing. Make sure your eating healthy, getting enough sleep and if you think you're sick, stay home," said Peggy Connell, the manager of the Grady County Health Department.
Employees with the Grady County Health Department will also be making visits to local businesses and schools. Therefore, adults do not have to take off work in order to get vaccinated.
______________________________________________________Grady County, GA - Preventing influenza will be the sole focus of the Grady County Health Department Oct. 4 from 12 p.m.-6:30 p.m. during an on-site seasonal flu clinic.
“We will be giving only vaccines during those hours so people can get them quickly,” said Grady County Health Department Manager Peggy Connell. “Both shots and nasal spray vaccine will be available at $25 per dose.”
She suggested that different populations come at different times during the clinic to help make the process move along more efficiently and quickly. “We are encouraging people without children to come to the health department to be vaccinated during school hours,” Connell said. “Parents can bring their children after school until 6:30 p.m.”
People who are unable to take time off of work can also come until 6:30 p.m.
Connell noted that health department staff will also be going to businesses and schools as usual to provide vaccinations to employees during this year’s flu season.
“Remember, the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the first and best way to protect against influenza,” she said.
The flu shots (injected vaccines) do not contain live viruses and are approved for people ages 6 months and older. Nasal spray vaccine is made with live, weakened flu viruses and is approved for healthy people 2 through 49 who are not pregnant.
This season’s influenza vaccine composition – the virus mix the vaccine protects you against – has changed this year. Therefore, children aged 6 months through 8 years may require two doses administered four weeks apart.
Among those most at risk of complications from flu are pregnant women, those with chronic diseases, healthcare workers, older adults and the very young, Connell said. “We strongly urge those who fall into these groups to get the protection they need against influenza.”
She said the health department has an ample supply of vaccine on hand. “We accept cash, checks, Medicaid, Medicare and State Health Benefit plans as United Health Care and Cigna and BlueCrossBlue Shield.,” she said. For more information, contact the Grady County Health Department at 377-2992.