Walk-in flu shots available

Published 5:37 pm Friday, September 20, 2013

It’s September. That means football games, cooler temperatures and flu season.

Although people are susceptible to the flu anytime during the year, late September through March is commonly known as flu season, said Cory Kirkland, Alabama Department of Health assistant administrator for Area 10.

“We do see a greater instance of the flu during colder months,” Kirkland explained, adding that now is the time to look into getting a flu vaccination.

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“There are roughly 20,000 to 30,000 people each year who die from the flu,” Kirkland said. “Vaccinations are not that expensive and are important to many different groups.”

Among the most important groups to receive flu vaccinations each year are pregnant women, children over the age of six months, people older than 50, those with chronic illnesses and those who are health care workers or caretakers.

Flu vaccinations are available through local doctors’ offices, Walgreen’s and CVS and also the Pike County Health Department where there will be a flu shot clinic on Monday.

“It’s all walk-ins,” Kirkland said. “You don’t have to make an appointment.”

The clinic will be held at the Pike County Health Department on Franklin Drive in Troy from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the cost is $5. However, those with Medicaid, Medicare or Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage can bring in their insurance cards for filing.

Flu shots are also available at the Health Department on other days, but Kirkland recommends making an appointment to avoid a wait.

Besides vaccinations, the Alabama Department of Public Health also recommends washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home with a fever, cleaning and disinfecting areas, calling a doctor if symptoms worsen and staying informed about flu news to avoid getting sick and passing illness to others during flu season.