The Liberty County Health Department, in conjunction with Fort Stewart, will hold drive-through flu-vaccination clinics from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, Oct. 24-25, at the Army Education Center in Hinesville. The clinics are open to U.S. Department of Defense beneficiaries ages 2 and older and all civilians.
There is no cost for DoD beneficiaries. Cost of the vaccine for members of the general public is $25. Checks, Medicaid, Medicare, United Healthcare, Cigna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be accepted. No debit or credit cards can be taken at the drive-through clinics. To save time, residents can download and complete the flu-vaccination consent form before coming to the clinic by going to www.gachd.org/liberty and clicking on the “flu information” link in the upper right-hand corner of the home page.
The vaccine comes in injectable and nasal-spray forms. The shot is approved for use in healthy people 6 months of age and older, people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women. The nasal spray is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant. A high-dose flu vaccine also is being offered for people ages 65 and older. The high-dose vaccine is $40 per dose.
“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against the flu,” said Dr. Diane Weems, chief medical officer for the Liberty County Health Department and Coastal Health District. “The flu can cause mild to serious illness and there is no way to predict how serious it will be in each person. Getting vaccinated is the smart thing to do.”
The flu easily is spread through coughs and sneezes and by touching something with the virus on it and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. That’s why good health habits also are important, including staying home when sick; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; coughing or sneezing into your elbow and not your hand; washing your hands often with soap and water; and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
The flu vaccine is available at the Liberty County Health Department from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and appointments are encouraged. For more information, call the Liberty County Health Department at 876-2173 or go to www.cdc.gov/flu/.