South West Georgia Public Health


Health Departments

Flu shots still available at all health departments; no appointment necessary

November 30, 2016 Contact: Carolyn Maschke, Public Information Officer

For Immediate Release 229-352-4275, 229-869-0388; cwmaschke@dhr.state.ga.us

Flu season hasn’t peaked yet, there is still time to vaccinate

ALBANY— So far, flu activity in Southwest Georgia has been moderate, with both Type A and B cases confirmed; and residents who haven’t yet gotten vaccinated against the infection should consider doing so, says Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Charles Ruis.

“Flu season hasn’t peaked yet,” he said. “And this season’s flu vaccine is proving to be a good match for the strains of influenza virus that are circulating so far.”

December 4 – 10 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a time to remind everyone six months and older it is not too late to get the flu shot, Ruis said. “Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but significant activity can occur as late as May.”

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue and in some instances upset stomach. For young children, older adults, those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease or asthma – and even for some healthy people – flu can cause serious complications that may lead to hospitalization or even death.

Ruis said it is also important to get the vaccine if you care for anyone at high risk, including babies younger than six months because they are too young to get the vaccine. To learn more about high risk conditions, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm.

“Children six months through eight years of age who are getting vaccinated for the first time may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected,” Ruis said. “If a child has not received his or her first dose, get them vaccinated now. For children who are six months through eight years of age and who have been vaccinated with one dose, parents should check with the child’s doctor or other health care professional to see if a second dose is needed.”

He said flu vaccine is available at county health departments, pharmacies and other healthcare providers.

“Getting the flu vaccine is simple, and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” Ruis said. “Flu shots are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, PeachState, WellCare, Amerigroup, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna and Coventry at your county health department.”

For more information about seasonal flu, go online to www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org. or www.cdc.gov.

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