Prepare for flu season

The Mecklenburg and Gaston health departments urge residents to stay updated on their vaccinations as flu season approaches.
The Mecklenburg County health department began offering vaccinations last month and encourages residents to make an appointment by calling 704-336-6500. Shots cost $30 for residents 6 months old and older. “High dose” flu shots, which generate a stronger immunity to the flu, are available for residents older than 65-years old for $40. A $35 Flu Mist also is available for residents ages 2 to 49 who have no medical problems and are not pregnant.
The Gaston County health department offers flu shots for $30 and pneumonia shots for $79. Bring insurance cards, as Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance plans cover the cost of shots.
“Anyone is eligible to receive a flu shot, but people at high-risk should be especially diligent about getting these shots,” said Gaston County officials in a news release. “High-risk individuals are people over 50, people living in long-term care facilities, people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, children 6- to 59-months-old, healthcare personnel who provide direct patient care and those living with or caring for children younger than 59-months-old.”
Shots will be given at the Gaston County Health Department on weekdays from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. No appointments are necessary, and patients will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those who prefer an appointment can schedule one by calling 704-853-1850.
Both departments urge their residents to get a flu shot this season, whether at a physician’s office, a drug or grocery store or another provider. To avoid getting or spreading the flu, practice good hand hygiene by washing hands frequently, cough into shirt sleeves and stay at home if sick.

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