Fight the Flu! Get Your Free Flu Shot at the Health Department!
By Quintana Stewart,
Preparedness Coordinator – Forsyth County Department of Public Health
Join the Forsyth County Department of Public Health in their fight against the flu. The department will begin giving FREE flu vaccinations on Monday, October 1st –Wednesday, October 3rd, 7:30am – 7:30pm at799 N. Highland Avenue. The vaccine will be provided to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis while supplies last. In addition to the standard injectable flu vaccine, the department has a limited amount of High Dose flu vaccine designed for those 65 years of age and older. The new Intradermal flu shot, a shot injected in the skin instead of the muscle using a smaller needle, will also be available for persons 18 through 64 years of age while supplies last.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. Anyone can get the flu, and vaccination is the single best way to protect against influenza. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to family and friends.
There are two reasons for getting a yearly flu vaccine.
1) The first reason is that because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the most recent and most commonly circulating viruses.
2) The second reason that annual vaccination is recommended is that a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time and annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection.
Health experts now recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against influenza. Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of severe influenza and their close contacts, including pregnant women, healthcare personnel, close contacts of children younger than 6 months of age, and anyone with certain health conditions – such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or a weakened immune system. By getting flu vaccine you can protect yourself from influenza and may also avoid spreading influenza to others.
Vaccination before December is best since this timing ensures that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at its highest. However, flu season can last as late as May, so getting vaccinated later in the flu season could still provide protective benefit. About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against the influenza viruses in the vaccine develop in the body.
For more information visit the following webpages: Flu Week at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health and the CDC’s webpage on Seasonal Influenza