Seasonal flu shots available at Fayette Health Dept.

It’s the time of the season for anyone wanting to take advantage of the annual seasonal flu vaccine. The vaccine is available now at the Fayette County Health Department in Fayetteville.

“The first and most important step in protecting against the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season,” said Hayla Hall, risk communicator for District 4 Public Health. “Everyone 6 months of age and older is recommended to be vaccinated against influenza.”

Hall noted that while flu can make anyone sick, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu, causing hospitalization or even death. Those include older people, young children and people with chronic lung disease, diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurological conditions, and certain other long-term conditions, and pregnant women. Individuals in these categories should consider receiving the flu vaccine, Hall said.

Whether taking the vaccine or not, good hygiene is always a good idea. And good hygiene can be practiced by washing hands regularly, covering mouth or nose when coughing and sneezing, keeping household surfaces clean, not attending work or school when ill and not sharing glasses or eating utensils.

Hall also noted that flu viruses are constantly changing. Each flu season, different flu viruses can spread, and they can affect people differently based on their body’s ability to fight infection. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to family and friends.

Hall said the cost of the vaccine is $25 for either FluMist or the flu shot, adding that making an appointment at the health department will reduce wait times. Checks drawn on local accounts, cash and Medicaid and Medicare (part B) will be accepted. Persons must present a Medicaid/Medicare card at the time of service.

Residents using Medicare need to bring their red, white and blue card as well as any other Medicare or insurance cards. Also, anyone with United Healthcare or Cigna under the state health benefit plan can receive immunizations at no charge (no copay) and have insurance filed by the health department.

The Fayette County Health Department is located at 140 West Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville and can be reached at 770-305-5416.

And for more information on influenza visit www.flu.gov.