In preparation for flu season, the Chattanooga–Hamilton County Health Department will soon offer flu shots.
The vaccines will be available beginning Oct. 9.
Although the shots are strongly recommended for children, the elderly and those who are immune-compromised, officials think everyone over the age of 6 months old should take one.
“There is no way of predicting how severe the flu season may be or how severe the effect in any one person,” Chattanooga–Hamilton County Health Department registered nurse Sharon Goforth said in a prepared statement. “So along with hand washing, covering your cough, avoiding sick people and staying home if you’re sick, the vaccine is the most effective protection you can give yourself and your family.”
The flu is easily spread through tiny droplets dispersed when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks. These droplets then make way to the mouth, nose or mucous membranes of another person and lead to another infection. A vaccinated person is less likely to catch the virus and less likely to spread the virus.
Medicare, TennCare and other select providers can be billed for the shot. The fee for the flu shot without insurance is $35.
Participating locations are:
- Main campus at 921 E. Third St. Children walk-ins are welcome; adults must make appointments at 423-209-8340.
- Ooltewah Health Center at 5520 High St. Adult and children walk-ins are welcome.
- Sequoyah Health Center at 9527 W. Ridge Trail Road. Adult and children walk-ins are welcome.
- Birchwood Health Center at 5625 Highway 60. Adult and children walk-ins are welcome; call 423-961-0446 to make an appointment.
The health department encourages citizens to get flu shots before the end of October if possible in order to give their immune systems the opportunity to build up sufficient immunity before the peak of flu season arrives.
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Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She currently attends UTC, where she was previously the news editor of the student newspaper, The University Echo. Alina also worked at CNN during the summer of 2017 and is the former Chattanooga correspondent for 2nd & Church, a literary magazine based out of Nashville.