The weather outside may still feel like summer, but the fact is that flu season is here and it’s never too early to get vaccinated. The Effingham County Health Department now has flu vaccine available for the general public.
In addition, school-based flu vaccination clinics have been scheduled from Sept. 30-Oct. 4 and parents are reminded to make sure they complete, sign, and return the parental consent form to the school if they want their children to get vaccinated there.
Getting vaccinated against the flu is recommended for everyone six months of age and older. Neither the flu shot nor the nasal spray can cause the flu. The shot is approved for use in healthy people 6 months of age and older, people with chronic medical conditions, and pregnant women. The nasal spray is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
A high-dose flu vaccine is being offered for people ages 65 and older and it is designed to provide the best protection for that age group.
The flu virus is easily spread through coughs and sneezes and by touching something with the virus on it and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
That’s why good health habits are also important including staying home when you’re sick; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; coughing or sneezing into your elbow and not your hand; washing your hands often with soap and water; and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Adults who visit the health department or their health care provider to get the flu vaccine are encouraged to ask about additional vaccinations that can help protect them against potentially harmful diseases.
A questionnaire about recommended adult vaccines can be found by going to www.gachd.org and clicking on the “Immunizations and Vaccinations” link under the Quick Links menu. The questionnaire is listed under the “Adult Immunizations” heading.
For more information, call the Effingham County Health Department at 754-6484.
For more information on the flu vaccine, visit the CDC’s influenza Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/.