GAINESVILLE - With flu season just around the corner, District 2 Public Health spokesman Dave Palmer said all 13 counties in the area have flu vaccine available at their health departments.
Influenza activity usually lasts from October to May in the United States, but can occur at any time. This year the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control recommends that flu shots be given as soon as vaccine becomes available in your community.
Palmer said some 230 million doses of the vaccine were manufactured this year, so there should be plenty of vaccine available.
Palmer said hours vary from department to department, so it is best to call ahead to make sure the health department is open. District 2 operates offices in Banks, Dawson, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union and White counties.
The Hall County Health Department, for example, is now offering flu shots on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. On Tuesday flu shots are available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. On Friday, flu shots will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
The cost for the flu shot is $25. Medicare, Medicaid, PeachCare, and State Health Benefits Plan (United Health Care and Cigna) are accepted. Please bring your insurance card with you when coming in for your flu shot.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine every year. While everyone should get the flu vaccine, it is especially important for certain people, who are at more risk from flu-related complications to get immunized. These groups include:
~Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
~People 50 years of age and older
~People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
~People who live in nursing homes and other long