Flu shots available today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Flu vaccines are available for residents at the Covington County Health Department beginning today.

The first shipment of flu vaccinations arrived Friday.

“It’s open season,” Cindy McAlpin, health department nursing coordinator, said the vaccine, which will contain the A California strain of last year’s H1N1 virus along with A Perth and A Brisbane strains of influenza will be available to anyone over 6 months of age,

McAlpin said she encourages everyone to receive the vaccine in order to help protect themselves and their families.

“Flu season typically runs November through May, but the flu vaccine will now protect folks for longer than it was once thought,” McAlpin said. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, the single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. “

McAplin said it is very important for those who are in the high-risk group to get the vaccine, especially pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung diseases.

In addition, health care workers, other people who live or are for high risk people to live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.

Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. Their caretakers should be vaccinated instead.

McAlpin said health department officials have not set dates for flu vaccine clinics but hope to do so in the coming days.

Anyone interested in getting a flu shot can visit the health department weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. McAlpin said the cost typically runs about $5 per vaccine for seasonal flu shots.