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North GA – This year's annual Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics held by public health in North Georgia have successfully vaccinated *901 residents, providing them with protection against the flu and helping to prevent the spread of the virus within their families and communities.
Since 2007, the North Georgia Health District Emergency Preparedness team, nurses, and Infectious Disease staff have collaborated with Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield County Health Departments to conduct these drive-thru clinics each fall. The initiative offers residents a safe and convenient method of receiving a flu shot. It also serves as an opportunity for health departments and partnering agencies to test local strategies for rapid vaccine or medication administration during a public health crisis. Partners in this initiative include local law enforcement, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), businesses, and first responders such as the county Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Medical Services, and Fire Departments.
Flu vaccines are readily available in various locations, including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and grocery stores. They are also offered at all county health departments in the North Georgia Health District at low or no cost, depending on an individual’s healthcare coverage. No appointment is necessary at these health departments during regular clinic hours.
The Georgia Department of Public Health advises that flu symptoms and their intensity can vary among individuals. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Certain individuals, including those aged 65 and older, those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years, especially those younger than 2 years old, are at a higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications.
In addition to getting a flu shot, the public is advised to take the following steps to prevent the spread of flu and other viruses:
- Regularly wash hands with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand rub
- Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then dispose of the tissue, or cough or sneeze into the crook of the elbow
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs
- Avoid close contact with individuals who may be sick
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that could be contaminated with germs
- Stay home if experiencing flu-like symptoms and remain home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone without the aid of medication to prevent infecting others
For more information about influenza, log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/flu.
To inquire about flu vaccines and other services, or to find the nearest health department location in the North Georgia Health District, visit: www.nghd.org.
*Of the 901 residents vaccinated this year at the Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics in North Georgia, the county health departments provided the following doses:
|Cherokee County……. 110||Gilmer County………… 76||
Pickens County………. 76
Fannin County…………. 148
Murray County……….. 174
|Whitfield County……... 317|