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Contact:  Julia Plemmons
Nursing Director
452-6675 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Haywood County Health Department is continuing to provide flu vaccines by appointment during normal business hours, while vaccine supplies last.

The cost of the vaccination is $28.00. To schedule an appointment, call 452- 6675. The health department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Health Department will accept full payment from the following: Medicare, Medicaid, Unicare, Humana, NC Health Choice, Today’s Option Pyramids, Secure Horizons and Cash or Personal Check.   Clients MUST bring their card with them.

The Health Department will not be able to bill other insurances including: BCBS, Tricare and the State Health Plan.

Traffic patterns will be different on Old Asheville Highway (US 19-23) during the 3 day flu clinic.  Orange safety cones and barrels will be in place. Coming from Lowes on Highway 23 North West toward town you should remain in the right lane in order to turn into the health department for the flu clinic. Health department staff and volunteers in the parking lot at the health department to provide direction, assistance and promote safety for everyone.


Flu shots help protects people from influenza, a viral illness that can occur in epidemics, usually during the winter months. People who should get vaccinated each year include:

 

  • Children 6 months up to 19 years of age.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People 50 years of age or older.
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, cystic fibrosis, anemia, asthma, HIV/AIDS and children on long-term treatment with aspirin.
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

  • Health Care Workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from flu.
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (children under 6 months cannot have flu vaccine).

Those who should not be vaccinated include:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination before.
  • People who developed Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
  • Children less than 6 months of age (the vaccine is not approved for this age group).
  • People who are sick with a fever should wait till recovered to get vaccinated.

The flu vaccine is made from inactivated, noninfectious, purified viruses that have been grown in eggs. For that reason, people who are allergic to eggs should not get a flu shot.  Most people have mild or no side effects from the flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu vaccine will not cause people to get the flu, because the virus is ‘killed’ or deactivated during the process of creating the vaccine.

Flu symptoms often begin with the sudden onset of fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and dry cough.  Fatigue and lack of energy can last several days.  The danger comes when flu causes viral pneumonia.  The combination can be deadly, particularly for older adults.  Pneumonia shots are available at the health department year-round and can be given at the same time as flu shot.  The cost of a pneumonia shot is $45.00. 

Because different strains of the influenza virus tend to spread each flu season, a new vaccine is prepared each year.  For this reason, it is necessary to receive a yearly shot to stay protected against the flu each year.  Usually one dose of pneumonia vaccine is all that is needed for those 65 years of age and older; however, in some cases a person may need a booster shot if they received the vaccine before the age of 65 due to chronic health conditions.  It is best to ask a health professional.

This year’s influenza vaccine contains three new virus strains.  They are:

            A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like virus;

            A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus;

            B/Florida/4/2006-like virus.

The supply of vaccine is at an all time high for the 2008-09 season based on information from the CDC, with the production of vaccine somewhere between 143-146 million doses.  The Health Department encourages anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu to get vaccinated.  It is recommended by the American Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

For more information, call the Haywood County Health Department Flu Hot Line 356-1111 or 452-6675.

For more information, contact:
David Teague, Public Information Coordinator
Haywood County
828-452-7305; 828-400-9691 or
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