Flu shots haven’t arrived yet

Published 10:40 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Flu shots are on the way to the Chilton County Health Department, but they won’t arrive until the end of the month.

Because of that, the health department has set up flu shot clinics for Oct. 24 and 31 along with Nov. 7 and 14. These are specific days set aside to handle walk-ins, and no appointments have to be set up.

Clinic supervisor Ludean Hicks said this year’s flu vaccine would be different than last year’s because it is designed to protect against the viral strain that caused so much illness last year.

“That strain has been added to the vaccine made this year,” Hicks said.

Hicks said it isn’t too late or too early to get a flu shot.

“You don’t want to get one too early because it won’t last the whole season,” she said. “If you get one at the end of October or early November, that should last you through the whole season, but it is never too late to get a flu shot because of how long our flu season is.”

Some people have complained of getting sick after receiving a flu shot, but Hicks said the virus doesn’t make people sick. The vaccine is actually a dead strain of the flu virus that is injected into a person.

“Usually those that said that already had the flu to begin with,” Hicks said. “It usually takes a couple of weeks before the vaccine takes effect.

It takes that long for the body to make enough antibodies to fight off the disease.”

“Usually, the discomfort of the needle is the most pain people feel,” she added.

The people that should consider getting a flu shot are the high-risk groups including the elderly and children. Those who usually get the flu each year and those who meet with numerous people each day should also consider getting shots.

“If you come in contact with a large number of people each day, you should consider getting a shot,” she said. “The more people you come in contact with, the more likely you are to contract the flu.”

Hicks said residents could also call the health department to schedule a time to get a shot.

For more information, call the health department 755-1287.