Flu shots ready... but not for everyone - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Flu shots ready... but not for everyone

October 5, 2006

Albany - - Officials in the Southwest Georgia Public Health District began offering flu shots today, but they didn't get all of the doses that they ordered. That means, if you aren't considered high risk, you will have to wait before you can get vaccinated.

Don't take it lightly. Influenza, or the flu, can be deadly. "I get my flu shot every year. Every year you get it? I do," says Betty Clark.

Southwest Georgians are taking any chances. "I'm very concerned because I have a weak immune system and everything so I have to be careful being around sick people and stuff like that," says another person concerned about her health.

That's just who health leaders want to serve first. Today, the health district starting offering flu shots, even though it only get 25 % of the doses it ordered.

So they're prioritizing who can get it first. "High risk are those children and adolescents who are on long-term aspirin therapy, health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, pregnant women, and those 65 and above," says Suzette Profit, Immunization Coordinator.If you fall on this list, you can get your shot now. If not, you'll have to wait until more doses come in.

Health officials say not only do you need to be concerned about protecting yourself from the flu, you also need to make sure your children and grandchildren are protected.

"Children 6 to 23 months old are at a greater risk for being hospitalized if they get flu, but this year the CDC changed the recommendation from age 6 months to 59 months and that's new this year," Profit says.

But the health district wont be able to serve that group until October 15th. Not to worry though, once the doses come in, health leaders expect there to be enough to go around.

"To keep from catching the flu disease and sickness and colds especially when you're certain age like I am. I'm an old man, retired and easy to catch things like that ya know," says Alfred Roberts.

"Well I do because your health is the most important thing you can have and you just got to take care of yourself," Clark says.

If you're just as pro-active about your health like these people, you may find yourself in line to get a vaccination in no time.

District health workers have already confirmed a flu case in Seminole County. The flu shots cost $25.00 at district health departments.

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