Time to roll up your sleeve for a flu shot - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Time to roll up your sleeve for a flu shot

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's been a busy day for the Dougherty County Health department.

"We started the clinic this morning at 7am," said Cheryl Henley, Dougherty Co. Health Dept. Dir.

The 14 county health departments in Southwest Georgia began offering seasonal flu shots Wednesday morning

"We've seen approximately 130 people," said Henley.

They've been prepping for the crowds who came to get the seasonal flu shots a month earlier than last year.

"There's so much going around and I prefer to get it earlier," said Geraldine Covey, Flu vaccine recipient.

The health district cut the cost from $25 to $20 to encourage more people to get vaccinated especially the young, elderly, and those prone to infection.

"People with very low immune system such as people who are HIV positive," said Henley.

A seasonal flu shot offers no protection against H1N1, but it will help prevent co-infections. If a person is infected with more than one virus it could create a more severe virus that is resistant to drugs.

While a vaccine for swine flu is still in the works, the seasonal flu itself can cause significant illness.

"The flu can kill," said Henley

It claims about 36,000 lives each year.

The health department has a lot of the flu vaccine but not as much as last year.

"We were left with a large number of vaccines after we had given it," said Henley.

"I normally come every year to the health department to get one," said Covey.

This year's seasonal flu vaccine contains three virus strains researchers anticipate will cause the most illness this year.

Even if you contract a flu strain that's not in this year's shot, the vaccine could make the illness milder.

About 250 people got those shots Wednesday in Dougherty County.

For more information about flu shots contact your county health department.

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