FILE - This Oct. 17, 2012 file photo shows a flu shot administered in Jackson, Miss. More children than ever got vaccinated against the flu last year, and health officials are urging families to do even better this time around. A severe flu strain swept the country last winter, sparking a scramble for last-minute vaccinations. There's no way to predict if this year will be as bad. But protection requires a yearly vaccine, either a shot or nasal spray. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it's time for people to start getting immunized. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
Panama City, Fla Flu season is here and the vaccine for seasonal flu is available. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly vaccine.
Right now, there is very little seasonal flu activity so it is a great time to get your vaccine. It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that people are vaccinated against influenza as soon as flu vaccine becomes available in their community.
Influenza seasons are unpredictable and it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.
The flu vaccine is available at the Florida Department of Health in Bay County, and many other locations around town. At the health department, flu immunizations are given on a walk-in basis. Hours of operation for this service are Monday-Friday, 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.
The cost for the regular flu vaccine is $29 and $42 for the hi-dose flu vaccine (for individuals over 65 years of age). Cash, Check, Visa, MasterCard and Medicare are accepted. The vaccine is free for children under 18 years of age.
Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Flu season usually begins in October and can last through May. Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.
It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
Getting a flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting you and your family against this serious disease. The Florida Department of Health in Bay County and CDC also recommends that you take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:
• Frequent hand washing,
• Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and
• Staying home when sick