Vaccine Available at Health Departments & Upcoming Drive-Thrus in North GA
NORTH GEORGIA– Why is it especially important to get a flu shot this year? Flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu or having severe illness for those who do get the virus. That is particularly crucial considering COVID-19 is circulating and protection against the flu helps strengthen our immune system. Moreover, were we to have a severe flu season in conjunction with the coronavirus pandemic, our healthcare infrastructure could become critically overburdened.
Flu vaccine is available now at county public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties, and beginning next week, the health departments will conveniently inoculate residents 18 and older against the flu at their annual Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinics.
The Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics will allow people to stay safely in their vehicles, separated from others, while health department staff wear COVID-19 protective gear as they provide flu vaccinations. Clients driving through will also be required to wear a mask or cloth face covering.
The Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics are scheduled, as follows:
- Whitfield: Tuesday, September 22nd, 9 A.M. – 3 P.M., Dalton Convention Center: 2211 Dug Gap Battle Road, Dalton, GA. Call (706) 279-9600 for more details.
- Gilmer: Tuesday, September 22nd, 8 A.M. – 1 P.M., ETC Pavilion: Legion Road, Ellijay, GA. Call (706) 635-4363 for more details.
- Fannin: Thursday, September 24th, 9 A.M. – 3 P.M., The Farmers Market: East First Street, Blue Ridge, GA. Call (706) 632-3023 for more details.
- Pickens: Monday, September 28th, 9 A.M. – 2 P.M., Mt. Zion Baptist Church: 1036 North Main Street, Jasper, GA. Call (706) 253-2821 for more details.
- Murray: Tuesday, September 29th, 8 A.M. – 6 P.M., Murray County Parks and Recreation Department: 651 Hyden Tyler Road, Chatsworth, GA. Call (706) 695-4585 for more details. UPDATE: Due to rain, the Flu Shot Clinic in Murray County is now being conducted INSIDE the building instead of out in the parking lot as a drive-thru, as planned.
- Cherokee: Wednesday, September 30th, 9 A.M. – 2 P.M., Woodstock City Church: 150 Ridgewalk Parkway, Woodstock, GA. Call (770) 928-0133 or (770) 345-7371 for more details.
Since 2008, public health staff and community partners have tested their plans at the drive-thru flu shot clinics to rapidly administer medication during a public health crisis. Participating community partners include local law enforcement, volunteers, businesses and first responders such as the county Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Medical Services, local Law Enforcement and Fire Department.
The health departments offer quadrivalent flu vaccine, which protects against four strains of influenza, including the regular flu shot and the high-dose flu vaccine that contains four times the amount of protective antigen and is for people sixty-five and older.
The flu vaccine is no cost for anyone under one of several acceptable health insurance plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, United Healthcare, and others. For those paying out-of-pocket, the cost is still relatively low at $25 for the regular flu vaccine and $65 for the high-dose vaccine. Cash is accepted along with other forms of payment, depending on the county.
To arrange an appointment for a flu shot a county health department in the North Georgia Health District, log onto www.nghd.org and click on the Locations tab at the top of the home page.
To learn more about influenza and flu protection, log onto the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu/.