Time to get your flu vaccine - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Time to get your flu vaccine

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Public Health officials are urging everyone who's eligible to get a seasonal flu vaccine right away. Many doctors offices and pharmacies are already administering the shots.

Next week, health departments throughout South Georgia will start giving out the shots. A mass vaccination clinic is planned for the Dougherty County Health Department Wednesday. Extra staff will be brought in to give the shots, which will cost $20.

While you're encouraged to get a flu shot every year, this season it's especially important because health officials want to make sure you don't get both seasonal flu and swine flu.

Dr. Jaqueline Grant said, "It protects against a co-infection with H1N1 and another seasonal strand. This year is going to be a year when we're going to be talking about a pandemic going on with H1N1, but once the flu season starts, there may be three or four other circulated strand of flu so I think it's more important than ever that people get the seasonal flu shot."

Seasonal flu typically peaks in February or March. That's why health officials want you to go ahead and get vaccinated now. The swine flu vaccine won't be available until mid-October at the earliest.

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