In addition to influenza vaccinations offered at local health department clinics, the Northeast Health District has begun offering drive-through flu shots in Athens.

Anyone wishing to receive a flu shot at a drive-through site may visit PublicHealthAthens.com or call 706-340-0996 to schedule an appointment.

“It’s important to get your flu shot every year, but now more than ever. While a flu shot does not guarantee you won’t get sick, it reduces the risk of catching the influenza virus and lessens the impact if you do get the flu,” explained Sara Alarid, District Immunization Coordinator. “With COVID-19 still present in our community, we need to work together to reduce the burden on our healthcare system. Our drive-through clinic makes receiving your flu shot fast, easy, and safe.”

The vaccine will be free for adults at the drive-through clinic. For children 6 months and older, insurance may be billed. For children without insurance, the vaccine is free. The drive-through clinic will offer both a quadrivalent flu shot and a needle-free nasal spray option.

The flu shot is approved for people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic health conditions. The nasal spray is approved for healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant. Vaccination is recommended for most people, especially those most likely to experience complications from the flu and people who live with or care for people at highest risk. Those at highest risk include:

people 50 years and older;

people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;

people with chronic health conditions;

women who will be pregnant during the influenza season;

children 6 months of age to 18 years of age.

"There are many types of influenza viruses, and flu vaccines are updated every year to help prevent the new strains of influenza that are expected to circulate," according to a news release. "Getting a flu shot every year is the best way to prevent the flu, which could cause serious complications. Because the flu shot does not protect against other viruses such as COVID-19, it is still important to continue to wear a mask or cloth facial covering in public and to keep six feet of distance between yourself and other people."

To schedule a flu shot at a health department clinic, visit PublicHealthAthens.com to find a clinic near you. For more information about seasonal influenza, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/flu. To learn about the similarities and differences between the flu and COVID-19, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm.

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