Ben Hill County Health Department has begun offering seasonal influenza (flu) vaccinations to the general public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
The flu shot is an option to anyone 6 months and older; and the nasal spray is available for non-pregnant, healthy people ages 2 through 49. “The vaccine is first come first serve at the health department daily; however, we stop giving shots one hour before closing in order to monitor each patient for side effects,” says Chris Naylor, RN, County Nurse Manager.
Public Health Officials encourage everyone to get the vaccine. “You are protecting yourself as well as the people you are around when you get vaccinated. You can pass the flu to someone else before you even know you are sick,” states Naylor.
Other than getting the vaccine, there are everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of the flu: wash your hands often with soap and water; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and then throw it away; avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes, since germs can pass this way and; avoid close contact with sick people. Most importantly, if you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone to avoid spreading the flu to others.
The trivalent flu shot (covers three strains) is $30, and nasal spray and quadrivalent shot (covers four strains) are $35 each. Insurance coverage and medical history will determine which vaccine each client is given. Flu vaccine for 6 months to 18 years of age is also available for children eligible for Vaccines for Children.
Cash, check, debit/credit cards, Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Coventry are accepted at Ben Hill County Health Department. For more information call 229-426-5288.