Shelby Crossing Clinic offering free flu vaccinations Friday

Cheryl Sanders
February 18, 2018

The Department of Health is hosting a special Flu Shot Friday event at clinics across the state where patients can receive free vaccines while supplies last.

It's important to note that the state health department only tracks flu deaths in pregnant women and children.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley says it's not too late to protect yourself from the flu. Flu this season has reached the level of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Pryde said.

While officials with the Tennessee Department of Health [TDH] said it is hard to track the actual number of flu cases in Rhea County, a TDH spokeswoman said that flu activity this year has been significant.

The Douglas County Health Department has been giving free flu shots to all residents of that county since December, said Administrator Amanda Minor.

"The answer is no, we really don't", said Monto.

The Cleveland County Health Department has high-dose vaccine for senior citizens that may not be available from health care providers.

However, even if the vaccine does not keep a person from getting the flu entirely, it may help keep them from getting sicker than they otherwise would.

Strains of both influenza A, including H3N2 and H1N1, and influenza B are circulating in this region, according to Pryde.

"We're still having people that are being diagnosed with flu, and we're expecting a longer than normal influenza season", Kreidler said.

DHEC figures report 3,412 people have been hospitalized as a result of the flu since October.

Eric Howard, an epidemiologist at the city-county health department, said flu hospitalizations peaked in Oklahoma County about three weeks ago, but the virus nearly certainly will continue circulating locally well into March.

She urges people who are sick to stay home until they are better, and to frequently wash their hands to stem the spread of the virus.

Other reports by iNewsToday