Flu shots still avail­able at lo­cal health de­part­ments

From Staff Re­ports

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

In­fluenza ac­tiv­ity is slowly ris­ing in Ge­or­gia, ac­cord­ing to the Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health, and there have been two con­firmed in­fluenza-as­so­ci­ated deaths. Both were in­di­vid­u­als older than 65 years of age.

“While we’ve seen min­i­mal ac­tiv­ity so far this sea­son, that doesn’t mean it will be a quiet year,” says Polk County Health Depart­ment Nurse Man­ager Malindy Ely. “In the past few years, flu sea­son peaked rela- tively early in late De­cem­ber and early Jan­uary, but in­fluenza ac­tiv­ity in Ge­or­gia typ­i­cally peaks in Fe­bru­ary, so we should pre­pare for the pos­si­bil­ity of more.”

“If you haven’t al­ready, now would be a good time to get vac­ci­nated. It takes about two weeks for vac­ci­na­tions to be ef­fec­tive. So far, ev­i­dence sug­gests the cir­cu­lat­ing strains are sim­i­lar enough to the one in this sea­son’s flu vac­cine to trig­ger pro­tec­tion.”

Ely says the health depart­ment has al­ready given 1,246 in­fluenza vac­ci­na­tions this flu sea­son, 200 more than last.

Ac­cept­able pay­ment meth­ods for flu vac­cine in­clude cash, credit-and-debit cards, Medi­care, Med­i­caid, Aetna and BlueCross BlueShield of Ge­or­gia.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact the Polk County Health Depart­ment in Cedar­town at 770749-2270 and in Rock­mart at 770684-1385.

For in­for­ma­tion about in­fluenza im­mu­niza­tions, visit http://www.cdc. gov/flu/pro­tect/vac­cine/in­dex.htm

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