Flu shots available at MC Health Dept.
Special to the Citizen
The Morgan County Health Department will begin administering flu shots on Monday, September 22. Flu shots cost $25 and are covered by Medicare and Medicaid. This year there are no restrictions or limitations on who can get a flu shot. Anyone who wants one is eligible. We will have a day dedicated to flu shots only in October.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the flu shots as soon as it is available and continue throughout the influenza season, into December, January, and beyond.
However, those who are at high risk of developing complications from the flu are especially encouraged to get a flu shot. According to the CDC, the following people are high risk:
1. People 50 years of age and older
2. Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
3. People with chronic medical conditions and/or compromised immune systems
4. Children aged six-months up to their 19 birthday
5. Pregnant women
6. Healthcare workers who provide direct patient care
7. Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
8. Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of infants under age six months
Up to 114,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of the flu, and 36,000 Americans die. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. In Georgia, flu season usually peaks in January and runs through March. It usually takes two weeks after getting the flu shot for your body to develop immunity.
In addition to getting an annual flu shot, public health officials recommend these steps to prevent the spread of flu:
• Wash your hands, especially before you touch your face or eat. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
• Don’t breathe where someone has just coughed or sneezed.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper sleeve.
• Stay home from work or school if you are sick to avoid spreading germs to others.
The Morgan County Health Department is located at 2005 South Main in Madison. For more information call the health department at 706-752-1266.