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Polk Health Department now offering flu vaccine

September 17, 2018--5:23 p.m.

NEWS RELEASE

The Polk County Health Department, 125 East Ware Street, Cedartown, is now offering flu vaccines. Please call the health department at 770-749-2270 to schedule an appointment.

“We ask that people schedule an appointment for their convenience, but we will take walk-ins as schedules allow,” says Malindy Ely, nurse manager at the Polk County Health Department. “We will also make home visits to give flu shots to the homebound and will schedule on-site flu-shot clinics for area business and industry. Please call the health department to schedule this.”

Public health experts say now is a good time for people to consider getting vaccinated for the upcoming flu season. “Get your flu vaccine as soon as it is available each year,” says Ely. “The health department has quadrivalent vaccine that provides broader protection against circulating flu viruses and high-dose influenza vaccine, which is more effective for persons 65 years of age and older.”

Ely says everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible. Flu season can start early, and it takes about two weeks after your vaccination for the full antibody effect to develop and provide flu protection. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated in September or early October before the flu season really kicks in.

“The flu shot will last through the flu season,” Ely says. “It’s never too early to get a flu shot, as we cannot accurately predict when the influenza season will begin, but it can be too late.” Flu season usually begins in October but can begin as early as September and last well into March. Peak flu season in Georgia usually occurs in late January and early February.

Who should get a flu vaccine? Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complication from influenza, including:

Children younger than five, but especially children younger than two years, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and people who have medical conditions including asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, etc.   

It is especially important to get the flu vaccine if you, someone you live with, or someone you care for is at high risk of complications from flu.It’s also recommended that pregnant women get a flu vaccine during any trimester of their pregnancy. There's added value to the seasonal flu vaccine for pregnant women, too. Not only does it protect them against the flu, it also protects their newborn infants, for up to the first few months of life at least, at a time when infants are too young to receive the vaccine themselves.

Acceptable payment methods include cash, credit-and-debit cards, Medicare, and Medicaid. Private insurance can be billed for certain services. Clients may call the health department at 770-749-2270 for pricing information.

Polk County Health Department hours are Monday – Wednesday 8 am to 5 pm, Thursday 8 am to 6:30 pm, and Friday 8 am to 2 pm. Environmental Health office hours are Monday – Thursday 8 am to 5 pm and Friday 8 am to 2 pm.

Contact the Polk County Health Department, 125 East Ware Street, Cedartown, at 770-749-2270; the Environmental Health office at 770-749-2253, or visit www.nwgapublichealth.org/counties/polk