DeKalb Health Department to Offer Flu Vaccine Friday

October 4, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Seasonal influenza vaccine is now available at the DeKalb County Health Department. Flu vaccine will be offered on Friday, October 8th at the health department on Tiger Drive from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Please call the health department at 597-7599 to find out the best time to get your flu vaccine.

Seasonal flu is a preventable illness that can be serious and even deadly. Each year, 5 to 20% of the country's population gets seasonal flu. Nationally, thousands of people die from influenza each year, most of them over age 65; however, the flu can cause serious illness for people of any age. The 2009 H1N1 flu strain is expected to come back again this season, and it can be especially hard on children and pregnant women. Last season during the H1N1 pandemic, 13 Tennessee children died of the flu.

The DeKalb County Health Department urges vaccination as the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over the age of six months get a flu vaccination. There is no special pandemic vaccine this season; the 2010 seasonal flu vaccine includes protection against H1N1 flu, in addition to two other strains of seasonal flu expected to circulate this year. Even if you have already had the H1N1 vaccine, you should still get this year's flu vaccine to protect you from the other strains. Flu vaccine will be plentiful and is already available from many providers, including private physicians and pharmacies.

The cost of the flu shot is $32.00. The health department will bill traditional Medicare-the red, white, and blue card-for those with that coverage, but no Medicare Advantage Plans or private insurance will be billed for the shot.

To make an appointment for vaccination or ask questions about flu vaccine, call the DeKalb County Health Department at 597-7599.

Meanwhile. the Family Medical Center is administering flu shots at both locations, Smithville and Alexandria any day that the office is open, Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until close, which is usually at 5:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Flu shots are covered by most insurances, and the Family Medical Center will file those for the patients.

This year's flu shot contains not only the traditional A & B strains, but also H1N1. The Family Medical Center has plenty of vaccines for those ages 6 months and older. FluMist, the intra-nasal attenuated live vaccine for healthy individuals ages 2 to 49 is also available.

Patients may call either office with any additional questions – Family Medical Center – Smithville (615) 597-4395 or Alexandria Family Medical Center – (615) 529-2116.

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