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Health department vaccinating for flu
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The flu — it’s just a fever and cough, right? Wrong. Hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized because of the flu every year and an average of 36,000 people die from it. Is it really worth the gamble? Liberty County Health Department officials don’t think so. The health department is now offering the flu vaccine, and everyone six months and older is encouraged to get it.
The flu vaccine is available in both a shot and nasal spray form and the cost is $25. Neither the flu shot nor the nasal spray can cause the flu. The shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people, people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women. The nasal spray is approved for use in healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant. In addition, there is a special high-dose flu formulation for those 65 and older.
“Getting a seasonal flu shot every year is the best way to protect yourself from getting and spreading the flu,” said Liberty County Health Department nurse manager Annie Washington. “Last year, we witnessed how unpredictable the flu can be and how quickly it can spread. Getting vaccinated is the best defense.”
The 2010-11 flu vaccine will protect against three strains of flu: influenza A H3N2 virus, influenza B virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus. Since the 2009 H1N1 strain is included in this year’s seasonal vaccine, there is no need to get a separate 2009 H1N1 vaccination this year.
Flu vaccinations will be available at the Liberty County Health Department from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Appointments are encouraged. For more information, call 876-2173.

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