The Dade County Health Department, 71 Case Ave., Ste., H-100, Trenton, is now offering flu vaccines during regular business hours on a walk-in basis, except today, Sept. 18, Sept. 19 and 26, and Oct. 2, 3 and 4 (8am-11am only), because on those days nurses will be in the schools giving student and teacher shots.
Public health experts say now is a good time for people to consider getting vaccinated for the upcoming flu season. "Get your flu vaccine as soon as it is available each year," says Tammy Franklin, nurse manager at the Dade County Health Department. "There's plenty of it available in our community right now, including at the health department where we have the quadrivalent vaccine that provides broader protection against circulating flu viruses. We also have the high-dose influenza vaccine, which is more effective for persons 65 years of age and older."
Nurse Franklin encourages people to get their flu vaccine by the end of October if possible. Flu season can start early, and it takes about two weeks after your vaccination for the full antibody effect to develop and provide flu protection. That's why it's better to get vaccinated in September or early October before the flu season really kicks in.
"The flu shot will last through the flu season," says Nurse Franklin. "It's never too early to get a flu shot, as we cannot accurately predict when the influenza season will begin, but it can be too late."
Flu season usually begins in October but can begin as early as September and last well into March. Peak flu season in Georgia usually occurs in late January and early February.
Who should get a flu vaccine? Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complication from influenza, including:
Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than t2
adults 65 years of age and older
pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities , and
people who have medical conditions including asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, et cetera.
It is especially important to get the flu vaccine if you, someone you live with or someone you care for is at high risk of complications from flu. It's also recommended that pregnant women get a flu vaccine during any trimester of their pregnancy.
There's added value to the seasonal flu vaccine for pregnant women, too. Not only does it protect them against the flu, it also protects their newborn infant, for up to the first few months of life at least, at a time when infants are too young to receive the vaccine themselves.
Acceptable payment methods include cash, credit-or-debit card, Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia, Cigna and United Health Care SHBP. Dade County Health Department hours are Monday - Wednesday 8 am to 5 p.m., Thursday 8 am to 6:30 pm, and Friday 8 am to 2 pm.
Contact the Dade County Health Department, at (706) 657-4213 and the Environmental Health office at (706) 657-4213. Find us on the web at www.nwgapublichealth.org/counties/dade<http://www.nwgapublichealth.org/counties/dade> and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DadeDPH.