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Fulton, DeKalb Offer Flu Vaccines | News

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Fulton, DeKalb Offer Flu Vaccines
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ATLANTA -- Flu season is on the way, and for the first time ever, the CDC is recommending that everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated.

Most people will need only one dose this year. But children may still need two, and older adults might consider getting a super potent vaccine.

On Monday morning, the Fulton County Health Department and the DeKalb County Health Department began offering the vaccine at several different health centers.

This year's flu season will be dramatically different from last year's season.

This time last year, the swine flu season was in full swing, and the vaccine for H1N1 was not available. It didn't come out until October, and even then it was really tough to find.

This year, there is one vaccine out now that's designed to guard against the regular flu and H1N1, and there is plenty of it to go around.

In fact, drug stores started offering the vaccine last month.

The CDC is predicting a normal flu season, which usually peaks in February.

But September is not too early for a flu shot, according to the CDC.

"There's concern I understand even among some physicians that if we get vaccinated now, our protection will wane by the time February comes around," said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University. "That's not correct."

According to North Atlanta Pediatrics, children who are 6 months to 8 years old will need two doses of this year's flu vaccine if they did not get the H1N1 vaccine last year.

They'll also need two doses if they have not had a seasonal flu vaccine before.

For people over the age of 65, there is another option this year.

Because they are most at risk for complications from the flu, the FDA has approved a super potent flu shot called "fluzone high dose," which contains four times the amount of vaccine.

"This enhanced potency vaccine gives the immune system more punch," said Dr. Schaffner. "It's supposed to give you more protection."

Individuals who fall within the priority high-risk groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are strongly encouraged to get their shot this flu season.

The high-risk groups include:
· Children ages 6 months and older
· Adults ages 50 and older
· Persons over 6 months old with certain chronic medical conditions
· Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
· Healthcare workers involved in direct patient care
· Caregivers, including daycare workers and household contacts of children under age 5
· Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season

The Fulton County Health Department will open the following vaccination sites on Monday, September 13:

· Adamsville Health Center - 3699 Bakers Ferry Rd., SW, Atlanta, 404-699-4215
· Center Hill Health Center - 3201 Atlanta Indus. Pkwy., Atlanta, 404-699-6370
· College Park Regional Health Center -1920 John E. Wesley Ave., College Park, 404-765-4155
· Lakewood Health Center - 1853 Jonesboro Rd., SE, Atlanta, 404-624-0626
· Neighborhood Union Health Center - 186 Sunset Ave., Atlanta, 404-612-4665
· Center for Health and Rehabilitation - 265 Boulevard., NE, Atlanta, 404-730-5835
· North Fulton Regional Health Center - 3155 Royal Drive, Alpharetta, 404-332-1834

Vaccinations also available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at:

· North Fulton Training Center - 5025 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, 404-303-6166

The fee for the vaccine is $25; Medicaid, Medicare Part B and other insurances are accepted.

For additional information, call the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness at 404-612-1211 or visit www.fultoncountygahealth.org.

In Dekalb County, seasonal flu vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday between 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the following locations:

• Clifton Springs Health Center, 3110 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur, 404-244-2200.
• East DeKalb Health Center, 2277 S. Stone Mountain-Lithonia Road, Lithonia, 770-484-2600.
• North DeKalb Health Center, 3807 Clairmont Road, NE, Chamblee, 770-454-1144.
• T.O. Vinson Health Center, 440 Winn Way, Decatur, 404-294-3762.
• Refugee Health Services, Richardson Health Center, 445 Winn Way, Decatur, 404-294-3818.

Onsite flu clinics are also available for local businesses and groups with 25 people or more.

For more information about the DeKalb County Board of Health's seasonal flu vaccination program, call (404) 508-7880 or visit www.dekalbhealth.net.

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