Flu season is here. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), now is the time to make sure you're protected. The agency says for the first time in almost a decade, flu season is ramping up early. Fulton County Health Services encourages all residents to protect themselves and their families by getting vaccinated.
Vaccines are available at six health centers from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. through the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness.
Alpharetta is home to one of the Fulton County health centers:
- North Fulton Regional Health Center – 3155 Royal Drive, Alpharetta, 404-332-1834
Residents can get the flu vaccine or the nasal mist (age 2 to 49 years) for $25. Visa and Master Card (credit and debit), Medicaid, Cigna, United Health care and cash are accepted forms of payment.
Additionally, vaccines are also available at many local pharmacies, including Publix, Kroger and Walgreens. Click here to enter your address and find the location closest to you where you can get the flu shot.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the flu is hitting Georgia earlier and harder this year than in previous years. The early onset of the H3N2 flu is one indication of a potentially severe flu season. Getting the flu vaccine is a good prevention practice. The protection received from vaccination will last throughout the flu season. Individuals who fall within the priority high-risk groups identified by the CDC are strongly encouraged to get their shot this flu season.
“This year’s vaccine provides protection against the seasonal flu,” says Patrice A. Harris, MD, Director of Fulton Health Services. “We strongly advocate the flu shot for all residents, especially those who fall into the priority high-risk category.” The high-risk groups include:
- Children ages 6 months and older
- Adults ages 50 and older
- Persons over 6 months old with certain chronic medical conditions
- Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
- Healthcare workers involved in direct patient care
- Caregivers, including daycare workers and household contacts of children under age 5
- Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
People who do not get a flu vaccine are taking two significant risks – one, they are placing themselves at risk for influenza, including a potentially long and serious illness; and two, placing others, especially children ages 6 months and older, adults ages 50 and older and persons with chronic medical conditions at risk to develop serious complications. Flu vaccinations do not cause the flu. They may prevent a case of the flu, or make a case of the flu last a shorter period of time and be less severe.