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Hartselle Enquirer

Flu vaccine available at health department

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Morgan County's Health Department is continuing to offer the flu vaccine. And, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, December is not too late to get your shot.
"This season, share the gift of health – not the flu," Winkler Sims, director of the health department's immunization division, said. "The flu is far more dangerous than a bad cold. It is a disease of the lungs and it can lead to pneumonia, hospitalization and even death. Talk to your health care provider now about scheduling your flu shot."
Sims said more people die from complications of the flu than from any other vaccine-preventable disease, with most of those deaths occurring in the 65-and-older age group.
Even though the use of the influenza vaccine has increased in Alabama as well as throughout the United States in recent years, immunization rates remain low and illness and death from the disease remain high. On average, 2,000 people die each year in the United States from complications related to influenza.
Officials said people in good health still need the flu shot to protect themselves and others around them. Sims said Alabama's peak influenza season usually does not begin until January and, since it takes about two weeks from the vaccination time for a person to develop protective antibodies, December is a good time for the flu shot.
The flu season continues through March.
Throughout December and January, the Morgan County Health Department will be offering walk-in clinics for those wanting the flu vaccine. The vaccine will be offered for as long as it lasts. The vaccine is also available through area physicians.