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Flu shots advised for prevention

It’s that time of year again.

With flu season just around the corner, it’s time for local residents to take steps to prevent it with the flu shot vaccination.

Some local doctors said there have already been cases of the flu in Pike County, so residents shouldn’t wait too long to get the vaccine.

Around the county, there will be several opportunities to get the flu shot in the coming months.

The Pike County Health Department will offer flu shots from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 27, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5, said director Ron Wheeler, and no appointment is needed for the clinic.

They will accept state employee insurance and Medicare, but otherwise shots will be $5.

Also, tomorrow at the Colley Senior Complex flu shots will be offered at 10:30 a.m. for senior citizens.

Director of the Colley Senior Complex Janet Motes said residents can call to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Mickey DiChiara at Pike Internal Medicine said the flu vaccine is important for all age group but particularly for senior citizens or those with a chronic illness.

Pam Smith, director of nursing at SARHA, said flu shots are not as important in age groups between 19 and 65, but they could help protect from the flu virus, which could make you sick for an extended period.

“Every day you walk in Wal-Mart and touch the buggy, and you don’t know who touched it,” Smith said.

At both of these offices, patients can make appointments to have the flu shot at any time.

Smith said flu usually hits the hardest around January and February, but since there have already been cases this year, it’s important to get the shot as early as possible.

Smith said getting a flu shot will not cause any symptoms other than a sore arm because they do not have an active virus in them.

DiChiara said they will protect from flu symptoms of fever, aches, cough and other cold symptoms that can last up to two weeks with the flu.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, flu shots should be in ample supply this season.