Flu vaccines continue at health department Print

The Haywood County Health Department will continue to offer flu vaccines for adults ages 18 and above through 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6th, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7th at Health Department offices, located at 2177 Asheville Highway in Waynesville.

 

Flu vaccine is plentiful this year, and the Health Department, N.C. Division of Public Health, and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging everyone over six months of age to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Children under age 18 may get the flu vaccine by calling the Health Department at 828-452-6675 and scheduling an appointment.

 

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine, available in injectable and nasal spray formulas, includes protection against the H1N1 strain of the virus as well as two other anticipated flu strains, according to the N.C. Division of Public Health. For most people, that means only one flu immunization is necessary. As usual, however, children under 9 years of age who haven’t been vaccinated against the flu in the past will need two doses of flu vaccine.

 

“Our challenge with H1N1 vaccine was getting it in time to beat the first big wave of illness,” State Health

Director Dr. Jeffrey Engel said in a news release issued by the Division of Public Health. “This year, manufacturers are ahead of the curve, giving us plenty of time to get folks adequately protected for flu season.”

 

The cost will be $28 for flu vaccine and $35 for flu mist. Pneumonia vaccines will also be available for $45. The Health Department will accept full payment in Cash, Check and from the following insurances: Medicare, Medicaid, Unicare, Humana, NC Health Choice, Today’s Option Pyramids, Medicare PPO insurances, Railroad Medicare, Aetna, BCBC of NC insurances, BCBS NC state Health Plan – if the policies covers vaccines.  The Health Department will not be able to bill any other insurances including Tricare.  Clients are asked to please bring their insurance cards with them.

 

Seasonal flu is most deadly for very young children and senior citizens. However, the 2009 H1N1 flu

disproportionately affected middle-aged adults and young people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that more than 12,000 people died from H1N1 last year, including more than 10,000 who were under 65 years old.

  

“H1N1 has reminded us that influenza, no matter what strain, is a serious disease at any age,” Engel said.

“Even if you aren’t hospitalized, it can severely disrupt your life. A vaccination is safe and effective and

the best way to prevent the flu.”

 

In addition to vaccination, Haywood County Health Director Carmine Rocco is urging folks to practice good health habits to protect against flu viruses, including:

 

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash. The preferred way to cover up is to use a tissue or cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm as opposed to your hands;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Wash long enough to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can work as a substitute if it is not possible to wash hands;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Stay home if you are sick. You should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone,
    except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of
    fever-reducing medicine.

“These types of precautions are important at all times, but I can’t over-emphasize how important they are during flu season,” Rocco said. “We hope folks will be as healthy as possible this flu season by getting vaccinated soon, and by following these tips.”

 

To reach the flu clinic coming from Lowes on Highway 23 Northwest 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 will be in the parking lot at the health department to provide direction, assistance and promote safety for everyone.

 

A drive-through service will be available for persons who are unable to walk to the building. As a safety precaution, those who plan to use the drive through to receive the vaccination are encouraged to leave pets at home or to have someone with them who can restrain the pet.

 

If any seasonal flu vaccine is left after the three days of flu clinics, the Health Department will continue to offer flu vaccines by appointment only at the health department. To schedule an appointment, call 828-452-6675.

 

For more information on flu vaccinations and vaccine safety, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm. You may also call the Haywood County Health Department Flu Hot Line 24 hours a day at 828-356-1111 or the health department at 828-452-6675 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

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