The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department will offer 3,000 doses of flu vaccine this season to individuals without health insurance, according to a release this morning.
The federally funded injections will be offered free of charge to persons 19-64 without insurance. Typically, the cost of the vaccine is $32.
Appointments can be scheduled at the following locations. Call between 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Third Street Facility: 209-8050
Ooltewah Health Center: 238-4269
Sequoyah Health Center: 842-3031
Birchwood Health Center: 961-0446
Uninsured or underinsured children can receive the vaccine at reduced or no charge. A sliding-scale payment system will be used.
Nettie Gerstle is communicable disease program manager at the department. She said prevention is key.
"As we saw last year, flu season can be unpredictable," she said. "We encourage anyone without health insurance to take advantage of this opportunity and protect themselves and their loved ones from the flu."
Everyone 6 months of age or older should receive the vaccine, she said.
"It is important for the public to understand that some people are at a high risk of developing serious complications from influenza," Gerstle said. "That’s why it is important to be vaccinated every year as soon as the vaccine is available."
According to the release, the seasonal vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Typically, it takes two to four weeks for protective antibodies to develop after the vaccination. Annual vaccinations are necessary because immunity wanes over time, the release said.
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