Flu season is around the corner. Fulton County Health Services encourages everyone to get vaccinated, especially children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that getting vaccinated is the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season.
The Fulton Department of Health and Wellness is providing flu shots at seven centers from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm.
Residents can get a flu shot or the nasal mist (2 to 49 years) for $25. Visa and Master Card (credit and debit), Medicaid, Cigna, United Health care and cash are accepted forms of payment. Flu vaccinations are available at the following health centers:
× Adamsville Regional Health Center – 3700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., SW, Atlanta, GA 30331, 404-613-4215
× College Park Regional Health Center -1920 John E. Wesley Ave., College Park, GA 30337, 404-765-4155
× Neighborhood Union Health Center, 186 Sunset Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30314, 404-612-4665
Vaccinations are recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months in the United States. To optimize immune response, children aged 6 months through 8 years require 2 doses of influenza vaccine (administered a minimum of 4 weeks apart) during their first season of vaccination if they did not receive or cannot verify receiving the vaccine last year (2012-2013). Children in this age group who received at least one verifiable flu vaccination last year will need only 1 dose this season.
The health department strongly encourages individuals who fall within a priority high-risk group identified by the CDC to get vaccinated.
The high priority groups include:
· Children ages 6 months and older
- Adults ages 50 and older
- Persons over 6 months old with certain chronic medical conditions
- Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
- Healthcare workers involved in direct patient care
- Caregivers, including daycare workers, and household contacts of children under age 5.
- Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
The flu vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that will cause illness during the flu season. The 2012-2013 influenza vaccine can protect you from getting sick from these three viruses, or it can make your illness milder and less contagious if you get a related but different strain of flu virus.
The CDC also recommends taking everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.
Individuals who do not get a flu vaccine are taking two significant risks – one, they are placing themselves at risk for influenza, including a potentially long and serious illness; and two, placing others, especially children ages 6 months and older, adults age 50 and older and persons with chronic medical conditions at risk to develop serious complications.
For additional information, visit the Fulton County web site at www.fultoncountygahealth.org. For more information about the effectiveness of flu vaccine, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm