The Macon County Health Department is now offering the flu shot at no cost, effective December 1, 2012.
This is an effort to stave off a flu season that looks particularly bad and has begun particularly early, according to healthcare providers. “People who are still unvaccinated are at an increased risk of getting sick and spreading the virus to others,” said Lisa Bumbalough, Macon County Health Department Director. “We are urging anyone who hasn’t yet received a flu vaccine to do so to help protect not only themselves but also vulnerable family and friends from the virus. The single best way to protect you and your family is by getting the flu shot. “
“This is the earliest start to an ordinary flu season in Tennessee since 2003, with seasonal flu now spreading in communities across our state,” said Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said the most common strain of flu circulating currently tends to cause more severe cases of illness, especially in the elderly. But CDC officials also said this week that the available vaccine is a good match for the flu strains circulating in the U.S. The CDC and the state Health Department recommend annual flu vaccinations for everyone older than 6 months.
“With the earlier start of flu activity in Tennessee, we can expect to see significant influenza activity through January or February, and it is capable of lingering as late as May,” said Kelly Moore, medical director of the Tennessee Immunization Program. “It’s not too late to benefit from the vaccine. But, it takes one or two weeks after being vaccinated for you to be protected, so if you haven’t yet gotten a vaccine, don’t wait.”
The Macon County Health Department is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. It is located at 601 Highway 52 Bypass East, Lafayette, TN.