Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fayette County Health Department Offering Flu Vaccine

Fayette County Health Department will hold a flu vaccine clinic October 14, 15 and16 at its health center by appointment only. Flu vaccine will continue to be offered each while supplies last. The vaccination is part of a flu campaign being implemented by the Board of Health to get the vaccine to as many people as possible.

In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, certain people should get vaccinated each year. They are either people who are at high risk of having serious flu complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious complications. High-risk categories are:

• adults aged 50 years and older
• persons of any age with underlying chronic medical conditions
• residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
• children aged 6 months to 4 years
• women who are pregnant during the flu season
• children aged 6 months -18 years on chronic aspirin therapy
• health care workers involved in direct patient care, and Influenza, commonly called "flu," is caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract. The influenza infection causes more severe illness than most other viral respiratory infections like the common cold.

Most people who get the flu recover in one to two weeks, but some people develop serious complications, such as pneumonia.

Every year, more than 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized as a result of the flu. Influenza infection can even cause death, and in an average year, about 36,000 deaths are caused by the flu in the U.S. The young, the elderly, and people with chronic medical conditions are most at risk of developing serious complications from the flu.

For people who do not receive the flu vaccine, health officials encourage them to take the following steps to reduce their chances of getting the flu:

• Wash your hands regularly
• Cover coughs and sneezes
• Keep household surfaces clean
• Don’t attend work or school when ill
• Don’t share glasses or eating utensils

The cost is of the vaccine is $25.00. Checks (no out of state), cash, debit cards, credit cards, Medicaid and Medicare (part B) will be accepted. Persons must present a Medicaid/Medicare card at the time of service. Residents using Medicare need to bring their red, white and blue card as well as any other Medicare or insurance cards.

Influenza vaccine for the 2008-09 season does not provide protection against avian or pandemic influenza.

If you would like to make an appointment to receive a flu shot, please call the Fayette County Health Department at 770.305.5416.
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