The Mecklenburg County Health Department is now taking appointments for seasonal influenza vaccinations.
Health Department staff will administer the seasonal flu vaccine in both immunization clinics at 249 Billingsley Road and 2845 Beatties Ford Road. Appointments can be made by calling (704-336-6500). Cost of the flu vaccine ranges from $30-$40, depending on the type of vaccine chosen.
It’s important to remember that seasonal flu happens every year, starting in the fall and lasting through spring. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that anyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot.
“The flu vaccine is the single most important way residents can protect themselves from influenza,” said Dr. Wynn Mabry, Mecklenburg County health director.
This year, the flu shot is a combined vaccine and incorporates the H1N1 strain, as well as the seasonal flu vaccine. This means everyone over 9 years old will need just 1 shot. Everyone under 9 years, who did not get the flu vaccine last year, will need 2 shots.
Certain groups are at a higher risk of complications from seasonal influenza. This includes residents 65 years and older, children less than 5 years of age, pregnant women, and anyone with certain chronic medical conditions.
Because flu viruses change each year, it is important to receive the flu vaccine annually. It takes about two weeks following the vaccination to develop protection against the flu so the sooner you get it, the better.
The Health Department is only one of many options for getting a seasonal flu shot. Many drug and grocery stores, private physician offices, and minor emergency clinics are also offering the vaccine.
Prevention can help you and those around you stay healthy this flu season. Go back to basics:
- Frequent hand washing
- Covering your cough with a tissue or your sleeve
- Staying home when you are sick
Residents can find much more information about the flu and protecting one’s family, along with a fee schedule for immunizations, on our website at www.meckhealth.org. Just click on flu shots.