Three flu-shot clinics have been scheduled Oct. 13-15 to protect Limestone County residents from influenza.
County health departments and health-care providers statewide expect to have ample supply of vaccine for the 2010-2011 season, the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Limestone County Health Department employee Melinda Carter said the local Health Department would hold the following immunization events:
• Drive-through clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at the Sportsplex off U.S. 31 in Athens.
• Walk-in clinic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Limestone County Health Department at 20371 Clyde Mabry Drive in Athens.
• Walk-in clinic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at the Limestone County Health Department at 20371 Clyde Mabry Drive in Athens.
Limestone residents are already inquiring about the shots.
“We have gotten lots of calls,” Carter said Tuesday.
Although in some previous years, the vaccine supply was short, this year they Health Department expects to have enough vaccine this year to offer it to anyone who wants it until it is gone, Carter said.
“The year before last, we were only doing the elderly and then those who had health problems,” she said.
Although there is plenty of vaccine, Carter said the department usually runs out during the clinics, so plan accordingly.
For more information, call 256- 232-3200
Who needs the flu shot?
Each year in the United States, about 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized because of complications related to influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Annual influenza generally strikes between November and March in Alabama, according to the state Department of Public Health. Symptoms of influenza include fever; respiratory symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose; headache; muscle aches; and extreme fatigue.
Anyone who wants to reduce his or her chance of contracting influenza should get a flu shot from a doctor or from the county health department.
The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone 6 months or older, especially those with a high risk of complications, including the following:
• Children age 6 months through 18 years, including those on long-term aspirin therapy;
• Adults age 50 and older;
• Adults and children with chronic disorders;
• Women who will be pregnant during influenza season;
• Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
• People whose immune systems are suppressed;
• Health-care workers;
• Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children ages 0-59 months and adults age 50 and older.
This year’s vaccine protects against three influenza viruses, one of which is the H1N1 virus. Those who receive the H1N1 vaccine last year still need to be vaccinated with the seasonal vaccine this year to have protection against all three strains, the Health Department said.
For more information about the vaccine, call the ADPH immunization division at 334-206-5023 or toll free at 800-469-4599.