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Flu shots available Monday

The first batch of flu vaccines will be available Monday at the Covington County Health Department on a “first come, first serve” basis.

CCHD nursing supervisor Cindy McAlpin said the vaccine is designed to protect against three different influenza viruses — none of which are the H1N1 or swine flu virus.

“They have really long names that are very confusing, but basically it is designed to protect against two type ‘A’ viruses and one type ‘B,’” McAplin said. “People should know this is only the a vaccine for the seasonal flu. It is not the H1N1 vaccine. That shot is expected sometime in the middle of October.”

McAplin said anyone not vaccinated against the flu is urged to take advantage of this opportunity.

Upon arrival at the health department, McAplin said recipients are asked to simply sign in and wait their turn.

“We do ask that people wear clothing that allows easy access to the upper arm area,” she said. “This will expedite the process considerably and get folks on their way as quickly as possible.”

McAplin said those who are currently experiencing influenza-like symptoms such as fever, body aches and coughing, should avoid taking the vaccine.

“Now if you’re just suffering from seasonal allergies or the common cold, there’s no need to wait,” she said. “If you’re already showing flu symptoms, it’s not going to do any good for you to get a flu shot.”

The shots are $5 each, unless covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Those recipients will be asked to present their respective cards to show proof of insurance.

The clinic will be from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Andalusia. Plans are under way to hold additional flu clinics for both the Andalusia and Opp clinics.