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Shot clinics set ahead of flu season

Events target kids, seniors

POSTED: October 14, 2013 12:30 a.m.

Flu season is approaching, but there are plenty of opportunities in Forsyth County to prepare by getting a vaccination.

In addition to doctors’ offices, pharmacies and employers, the Forsyth County Health Department is working with the community to provide on-site flu shots.

The largest flu vaccination event will be held this week during the School-Based Flu Clinic, where children ages 4 to 18 can receive a free vaccination.

The clinics will be held at North Forsyth High on Wednesday and South Forsyth High on Thursday. Both will run from 2 to 5 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria.

“It’s actually a statewide initiative that health departments can opt into,” said Alison Ward, health department nurse manager. “We chose to do it for our community to help our kids stay as health as possible.”

The event is open to pre-K, home school and school system students, Ward said. Though the vaccination, which comes as both a shot and nasal mist, is offered for children ages 4 and older, Ward said it’s important for younger children to also receive one.

“It’s important to everyone above 6 months of age,” she said. “It prevents the spread of flu in the community.”

Georgia District 2 Public Health spokesman Dave Palmer said there has been little flu activity in Georgia so far. However, based on the strain that appears to be circulating, Palmer said the vaccination should be pretty accurate at warding off this year’s virus.

Palmer said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccinations begin as early as possible to protect through the full flu season. The vaccination became available in Forsyth in September.

“The most cases we see are typically from October to May, and it usually peaks somewhere around January and February,” he said.

To date, the county has given nearly 1,400 vaccinations at the health department and off-site visits. Palmer expects the department will have exceeded last year’s vaccination total of 1,751 after the school system events.

In addition to the health department, Forsyth’s senior citizens can participate in the county’s vaccination partnership with Kroger.

Events will be held Tuesday at the Sexton Hall Enrichment Center, Wednesday at the Hearthstone Lodge Community Center and Oct. 29 at the Center at Charles Place.


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