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Drive-bys 2016 Graphic-smNorth GeorgiaRoll in. Roll up a sleeve, and arm against the flu. Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics are coming once again to North Georgia, and there is no easier, safer way to protect against the flu while helping prepare communities for disaster.

Since 2008, public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties have conducted the annual Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics, serving residents quickly and efficiently as they remain in their vehicles.

The four-in-one quadrivalent flu vaccine and the Fluzone High Dose vaccine for people sixty-five and older will be available at the clinics.

“Quadrivalent flu vaccine protects us against four different strains of flu, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses,” said Marie Smith, immunization and child health coordinator for North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Whereas, for people 65 and older whose immune systems tend to weaken with age, the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine has four times the amount of protective antigen.”

The cost of the quadrivalent flu shot is $25 and the Fluzone High-Dose flu shot is $58. Cash, Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield Health and United Healthcare Insurance will be accepted, along with other forms of payment and insurance, depending on the county.

While arming residents against the flu at the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics, public health staff and community partners test their plans for standing up a temporary Point of Dispensing 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 and Fire Department.

This year, the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics are scheduled in each county, as follows:

Cherokee: Tuesday, October 4th, 8 A.M. – 4 P.M., Woodstock Health Center: 7545 North Main Street, Woodstock, GA. Call (770) 928-0133 or (770) 345-7371 for more details.

Fannin: Thursday, September 29th, 9 A.M. – 5 P.M., The Farmers Market: East First Street, Blue Ridge, GA. Call (706) 632-3023 for more details.

Gilmer: Thursday, October 6th, 8 A.M. – 4 P.M., Pleasant Grove Baptist Church: 115 Pleasant Grove Road, Ellijay, GA. Call (706) 635-4363 for more details.

Murray: Tuesday, October 11th, 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.

Pickens: Tuesday, September 27th, 9 A.M. – 3 P.M., Mt. Zion Baptist Church: 1036 North Main Street, Jasper, GA. Call (706) 253-2821 for more details.

Whitfield: Wednesday, October 5th, 8 A.M. – 3:30 P.M., Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center: 2211 Dug Gap Battle Road, Dalton, GA. Call (706) 226-2621 for more details.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each season.

The most convenient way to get that vaccination in North Georgia is at the nearest Drive-by Flu Shot Clinic.

For additional details about the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics, call the local county health department or log onto To learn more about influenza and flu protection, log onto the CDC’s website at

Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today!

WhitPrepareAthonBanner-web(Dalton) – September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) and serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the type of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit.

As part of the bi-annual Whitfield PrepareAthon! campaign, the Whitfield County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and Whitfield County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) are working with local community partners to help residents prepare.

Amy Cooley, Whitfield County EMA Emergency Specialist, said, “Our PrepareAthon! events for National Preparedness Month include a Pillow Case Project for 3rd-5th graders with the American Red Cross on September 22nd at the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library at 5 PM. We invite residents to join us and bring their children. We will be providing preparedness information while the children learn about personal and family preparedness. The other event is actually in October, and that's our annual Community Disaster Awareness Day at Home Depot in Dalton in conjunction with their Safety Day on Saturday, October 1st from 9 AM to 12 PM. This is a fun event filled with great activities for the whole family as they learn how to prepare for disaster and participate in Home Depot's Kid Workshop.”

The National Preparedness Month theme, “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today”, emphasizes the importance of preparedness for youth, older adults and people with disabilities as well as for anyone with access and functional needs.Businesses, organizations, communities and individuals should take time this month to help make America more prepared for emergencies by following the weekly plan:

According to Whitfield County EMA Director Claude Craig, it is never too early to plan for disaster, but it can be too late.
“There’s no time to prepare once disaster strikes,” said Craig. “That is why preparing ahead of a disaster is so critically essential.”
Learn more about National Preparedness Month and how individuals, families and communities here in Georgia can prepare for emergencies at

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is a busy month with back-to-school shopping, last minute family vacations, registering for school and recent graduates leaving for college. As summer comes to an end and the school year begins, people often forget to check if they and their family members are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) reminds Georgians to get a head start on vaccinations required for school.

“August is a great time of year to engage the community regarding vaccinations,” said Sheila Lovett, Immunization program director for DPH. “It’s the perfect time to make vaccinating a priority in our communities.”

This year, each week of NIAM focuses on a different stage of the life span:

  • Adults (Aug. 1-7)
  • Pregnant women (Aug. 8-14)
  • Babies and young children (Aug. 15-21)
  • Preteens and teens (Aug. 22-28)

Vaccinations protect our families and communities; especially infants and those individuals who are unable to be immunized or who have weakened immune systems. Every adult in Georgia (19 years of age and older) should follow the recommended immunization schedule by age and medical condition.

It is always a good idea to have the adult vaccine schedule nearby as a reference and to make sure you are current on your immunizations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the 2016 Recommended Immunizations schedule to help you remember when to talk with your doctor about your vaccinations.

DPH hosts an annual Immunize Georgia Conference that educates health care providers on the latest requirements, updates and news regarding immunization services. It is an effort to connect public and private health practitioners for a common cause: improving Georgia's immunization rates and protecting every adult and child from vaccine-preventable diseases.

The conference brings world-renowned speakers including subject matter experts from CDC, Emory University and other top-tier research universities and respected hospitals from across the country. Participants can earn continuing education credits, network with peers and take the GRITS 101 training.

Register for the Immunize Georgia Conference at To learn more about vaccinations for adults and children, visit CDC at

Parking Lot Closed-smDalton, GA – Upper level parking at the Whitfield County Health Department on Professional Boulevard in Dalton will be closed Thursday, July 28 and Friday, July 29 due to ongoing construction of a new public safety communication system tower nearby at the Whitfield 911 Center. However, parking will be available to health department visitors this Thursday and Friday at the lower parking level at the back of the building. All regular parking spaces are expected to be available by the following Monday. Please call the Whitfield County Health Department at (706) 279-9600 with any questions or concerns.