Make the choice to get a flu vaccine early this year. During the 2016-2017 flu season, 219 North Carolinians – including 7 children – died as a result of the flu. Flu can be a serious illness, especially for adults over 65, children under five, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.
Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage everyone 6 months of age or older to get a flu shot by the end of October, if possible. A yearly flu vaccine is the best protection against flu. A few things to note for this flu season:
Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating flu viruses.
For the second year, only injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) are recommended. The nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for use.
Flu vaccine is available at the BCHHS Immunization Clinic at 53 South French Broad Ave. in downtown Asheville, across the street from the United Way. Parking is free and no appointment is required Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 am – 5 pm. We ask that clients check in by 4:30 pm. Anyone six months and older may receive a flu vaccine, or any vaccine, at this location.
BCHHS Immunization Clinic offers several forms of flu vaccine. “Regular” flu shots are available for anyone over 6 months of age. “High dose” flu shots are available and recommended for adults 65 years and older. A regular flu shot costs $40 and “high-dose” flu shots cost $65. Flu shots for those with severe egg allergy cost $62. We accept Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance and self-pay (cash, check, debit card). Those with no insurance may qualify for free vaccine.
“You have the power to protect yourself and your family from flu this season by making sure everyone 6 months and older gets the flu shot. In past flu seasons, almost 85% of flu-associated deaths in children were in kids who didn’t get the flu vaccine. And most flu-related deaths occur in people 65 years and older, so it’s critical for older people to get vaccinated,” said Buncombe County Medical Director, Dr. Jennifer Mullendore.
Please visit www.cdc.gov/flu for more information on the 2017-2018 flu vaccine.