Drive-thru flu shot clinics are open again in North Georgia. Residents will once again have this safe, convenient and protective option to protect themselves against the flu in September and October.

Drive-thru flu shot clinics, run by North Georgia Health District County Health Services, are for people ages 18 and older and allow residents to stay safely in their vehicles while health department staff wear COVID-19 protective gear to administer flu shots. .

Customers crossing are encouraged to wear a mask.

The drive-thru flu shot clinics in North Georgia are:

• Whitfield County: Tuesday, September 20, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Whitfield County Health Department, 800 Professional Blvd., Dalton. Call (706) 279-9600 for details.

• Murray County: Tuesday, September 27, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., First Baptist Church, 121 W. Market St., Chatsworth. Call (706) 695-4585 for details.

• Gilmer County: Tuesday, October 4, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., ETC Pavilion, 1041-1047 Legion Road, Ellijay. Call (706) 635-4363 for details.

• Cherokee County: Tuesday, October 4, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Woodstock Health Center, 7545 N. Main St., Woodstock. Call (770) 928-0133 or (770) 345-7371 for details.

• Fannin County: Tuesday, October 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Farmers Market, 811 Summit St., Blue Ridge. Call (706) 632-3023 for details.

• Pickens County: Tuesday, October 18, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1036 N. Main St., Jasper. Call (706) 253-2821 for details.

Since 2008, public health in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties has empowered residents 18 and older to roll up, roll up a sleeve and arm themselves against the flu safely, quickly and easily seated in their vehicle. .

Today, as COVID-19 and particularly contagious variants of the virus continue to spread through our communities, it is more important than ever to protect ourselves against the flu, thereby reducing the dangerous risk of having both diseases in same time.

The four-in-one, or quadrivalent, flu shot offered at clinics will be the regular flu shot offered at the drive-thru, and the high-dose flu shot will be offered to people age 65 and older.

The quadrivalent influenza vaccine protects people against four different strains of influenza, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

The high-dose flu vaccine contains four times the protective antigen for the immune system, which tends to weaken with age.

The flu vaccine is free for anyone under one of many acceptable health insurance plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, United Healthcare, and others. For those paying out of pocket, the cost is still relatively low at $25 for the regular flu vaccine and $65 for the high-dose vaccine.

Cash will be accepted with other forms of payment, depending on the county.

While arming residents against the flu at drive-thru flu shot clinics, public health staff and community partners are testing and updating plans to set up a temporary dispensing point to quickly administer medication during a public health crisis.

Participating community partners include local law enforcement, volunteers, businesses and first responders such as the county emergency management agency, emergency medical services and fire departments.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu vaccination can reduce flu illness, doctor visits, and days missed from work and school, and it can prevent influenza-related hospitalizations.

As people get vaccinated, they not only protect themselves, but they also help prevent the spread of influenza to others, including the elderly, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious complications from the flu. .

The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu shot.

The most convenient way to get vaccinated in North Georgia is to visit the nearest Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinic public health clinic.

For details on drive-thru flu shot clinics, contact one of the local county health departments listed.

To learn more about influenza and flu protection, log on to the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/flu/.

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