The Dougherty County Health Department will open early and stay late Wednesday during a seasonal flu shot mass clinic aimed at protecting as many residents as possible as quickly as possible.
The cost will be $20, which is $5 less than Public Health charged last year per dose.
“It is more important than ever to get your flu shot, and to get it early, because we already have Pandemic H1N1 influenza in our community,” explained Suzette Profit, immunization coordinator for the Dougherty County Health Department.
“We are dedicating all day Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to a mass seasonal flu vaccination clinic. Giving flu shots is all we will be doing that day,” Profit said. “We’ll have five times our usual number of nurses on hand so we can move people through quickly and conveniently.”
The seasonal flu vaccine will help protect individuals from co-infections, which could allow the H1N1 virus to mutate into a disease that is drug-resistant or more severe. Every fall, a number of influenza viruses begin circulating. The seasonal flu shot is designed to fight the three viruses expected to cause the most sickness each autumn.
Meanwhile, a vaccine for H1N1 Influenza is under development, with a delivery date of October at the earliest. It is likely to require two doses given 21 days apart.
“This is something you can do to protect your health, the health of your loved ones and the wellbeing of the community as a whole,” Profit said. “Children as young as 6 months can get vaccinated against the flu. We recommend it for everyone from that age up unless they have had a severe allergic reaction to eggs, have a history of Guillain-Barré or have a fever.”
To find out more about influenza, contact the Dougherty County Health Department or visit Southwest Georgia Public Health District’s website, www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org.