Flu vaccines offered at health department

Sep. 29, 2013 @ 08:36 AM

Rutherford County Health Department, at 221 Callahan Koon Rd, Spindale, will begin providing flu vaccines from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for anyone over 6 months of age.

Medicare Part B, Medicaid, Health Choice, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care and Medcost will pay for the vaccine at the health department and recipients must bring their insurance card.

Uninsured or underinsured children ages 6 months through 18 years may get the vaccine free at the health department.

There is a $30 charge for those who do not meet the above criteria for insurance coverage.

The CDC recommends that everyone older than 6 months of age receive a flu vaccine.

"Last year's flu vaccine will not protect you against this year’s flu virus," said Helen White, nursing supervisor at the Rutherford Health Department.

There is no way to predict what this year’s flu season will be like. The influenza vaccine covers both A and B subtypes for influenza.

Flu season typically begins in October and reaches its peak December through March.

 It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide protection from the flu so it is important to get the vaccine now, White said.

Influenza is a respiratory virus that can cause cough, fever, body aches, sore throat, headache, chills, and fatigue.  The virus is highly contagious from person to person and is spread by droplets coughed into the air.  Preventing the spread of flu can be accomplished by getting the flu vaccine, covering your coughs and sneezes, frequent hand washing and staying home when you have fever and flu like symptoms. Complications from flu can lead to death, especially in adults over the age of 65 years or children with diseases that affect the immune system.

Call the health department at 828-287-6100 for more information or with questions.