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Time for your flu vaccine

Everyone ages six months and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the vaccine is available, according to Clarke County Public Health. The 2013 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses: A) H1N1, A)H3N2, and B.

Clarke County Public Health, 134 W. Jefferson St., will be holding Walk-in Wednesday clinics during office hours 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to give flu vaccines beginning Sept. 25. No appointment is needed.

Kelly Bailey, RN, said, “both flu mist and flu shots are available for children and adults. The flu mist is for healthy people age 2-49, who are not pregnant or do not have health problems. The flu mist contains live but weakened influenza vaccine.”

The flu shot is for everyone ages six months and older. Infants, the elderly, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions – such as heart, lung or kidney disease or a weakened immune system who get the flu — can have a high fever and pneumonia. This can make existing medical conditions worse. It can cause diarrhea and seizures in children. Each year, thousands of people die from seasonal influenza and even more require hospitalization.

By getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself from influenza and may also avoid spreading influenza to others. It takes up to two weeks for protection to develop after the shot. Protection lasts about a year.

The cost is $28. There is no charge for individuals with their Medicare card and Medicare Part B coverage. Clarke County Public Health is able to offer children (six months to 18 years) no cost flu vaccine by appointment if they are eligible for the Vaccine for Children program while supplies last. Public Health will also bill Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health Insurance.

Call Clarke County Public Health at 641-342-3724 for more information.

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