Public health departments within the North Georgia Health District will soon begin distributing influenza vaccine to residents in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties.
With over 160 million doses of flu vaccine expected to be available nationwide for the 2010-2011 Flu Season, health officials are encouraging everyone over six months of age to get a flu shot as early as possible to be well protected. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become effective, and even if a flu shot is taken as early as September, it will continue to provide protection until the end of the flu season next spring.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is likely that 2009 H1N1 viruses and regular seasonal viruses will cause illness in the U.S. this flu season. Therefore, the 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against three different strains of flu viruses: the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season, an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus.
The flu vaccine will cost $20 at each North Georgia Health District health department. Medicaid, Medicare, and State Health Benefit/CIGNA health insurance cards will be accepted.
The Cherokee County Health Department will kick off its flu vaccine distribution by conducting a Drive-By Flu Shot Clinic for people 13 and older on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at Canton Elementary School. The address is 712 Marietta Highway in Canton, and the clinic will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Clinic staff will also provide free TDaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) vaccinations for all who are eligible. After this event, the health department clinics in Canton and Woodstock will begin administering flu vaccinations to the general public during their regular business hours.
The Fannin County Health Department will begin providing flu vaccine on Monday, September 27, 2010 at their location on Ouida Street in Blue Ridge. Residents are asked to call to make an appointment to receive a flu shot at (706) 632-3023.
The Gilmer County Health Department will begin administering flu vaccine on Monday, October 4, 2010 in their clinic at 28 Southside Church Street in Ellijay during regular business hours.
The Murray County Health Department will start providing flu vaccine by conducting a Flu Shot Clinic at the Murray County Recreation Department on Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5, 2010. The exact times of the all-day clinic will soon be released. The recreation department location is 651 Hyden Tyler Road, Chatsworth. Clinic staff will also provide free TDaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) and Pneumococcal vaccinations for all who are eligible. The Murray County Health Department will begin providing flu vaccinations at its location on Old Dalton-Ellijay Road in Chatsworth on Wednesday, October 6.
The Pickens County Health Department, located at 60 Health Way in Jasper, will begin providing flu shots to residents on Monday, October 4, 2010.
The Whitfield County Health Department will begin administering doses of flu vaccine by conducting a Drive-by Flu Shot Clinic at the North Georgia Trade and Convention Center in Dalton on Tuesday, October 5 and on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Afterwards, the Whitfield County Health Department will begin providing flu shots from its location at 808 Professional Blvd. in Dalton during their regular business hours. Free TDaP vaccine will be available for those who are eligible at both the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinic and at the Whitfield County Health Department.
For more information such as county health department hours of operation or information about area influenza vaccination distributions, log onto www.nghd.org or contact the nearest health department by referring to the phone numbers listed below. More details about the 2010-2011 Flu Season can be located at www.cdc.gov/flu.