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Flu shots available next week

December 26, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Flu shots available next week



Flu shots for adults will be available next week at five clinics around Washington County, the county Health Department said Tuesday.

It's the first time this season flu vaccinations are being offered to anyone 18 and older in the county. A flu shot clinic in early December was open only to senior citizens and other high-risk people.

Washington County Health Officer William Christoffel said the clinics are not open to those younger than 18 because of the commotion young children can cause. Also, youths who need flu shots would have already received them from their personal doctors, he said.

The vaccination is recommended for those with chronic illnesses, including diabetes, and those older than 65, Christoffel said.

"For a healthy population it's not necessary," Christoffel said.

This season, the county health department has already administered about 3,500 flu shots through visits to nursing homes, senior centers and a clinic held in early December at North Hagerstown High School, which drew about 1,500 people.

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Last flu season the health department gave approximately 7,200 flu shots. Christoffel said it received about 9,000 doses this year and he hopes to administer them all.

"If we have some left over after these clinics we'll have more clinics," he said.

Flu shot clinics will be held Jan. 3, Jan. 4 and Jan. 5.

"Wear a comfortable shirt that can be rolled up so we can get at the upper arm," Christoffel recommended for those planning to get their shots.

The flu shots are free, but the Health Department is asking for a $7-per-shot donation to cover costs. Medicare can be billed for the shots so those covered by Medicare should bring their cards, he said.

The flu vaccination clinics generally are held around the end of October and in November, but difficulty growing a strain of the flu virus caused a delay in vaccine availability nationwide.

Christoffel said the vaccine is made up of four dead strains of the flu virus.

He said it takes 10 days after getting the shot to be immunized, and the shot cannot give someone the flu.

Generally, flu season runs from December through March and peaks in February, he said.

Flu shot clinics listed

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