Don’t Risk It. Get a Flu Shot this Year.

When it comes to the flu, stakes are high. Last year, 59 people died from flu-related illness in North Carolina.

The majority of these deaths were in people between the ages 50-65.  The flu can cause high fever, fatigue, chills, cough, and can cause lingering and sometimes deadly infections.

Infants under 6 months of age are too young to get a flu vaccination, so it’s up to the rest of us to surround them with a shield of protection. Older adults and those with chronic health conditions also are especially at risk when it comes to severe flu symptoms, and can experience prolonged illness that can lead to pneumonia, dehydration, and death. The flu is a serious illness even for healthy people. Increasingly, more young and middle-age adults are hospitalized due to the flu.

Don’t take a risk, prevent the flu before it gets to you. Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) Medical Director, Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, urges prevention, saying, “Getting a flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself and those you love from getting the flu. Our community’s health is stronger when we all have a shield of protection against the flu. Other preventive measures include staying home when you are sick, covering your cough, and washing your hands frequently.”

The safest bet is to get a flu shot as soon as they are available.  You can get a flu shot from your medical provider, most pharmacies, and at the Buncombe County Immunization Clinic, located at 53 S. French Broad Ave.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months of age or older. The ACIP recommends that the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine not be used this flu season due to evidence showing it is not as effective as the flu shot. Based on this recommendation, BCHHS will not be offering the nasal flu mist this year.

The BCHHS Immunization Clinic provides flu shots for children and adults, with prices ranging from $38 to $57.  Some clients may qualify for free or low cost vaccines.  The Immunization Clinic is located at 53 S. French Broad Ave. To get a flu shot, visit usMonday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Please check in by 4:30pmto receive a flu shot. Parking is free and no appointment is necessary! Don’t risk it this year, your safest bet is to get a flu shot. When our community’s shield of protection is strong, the odds are in our favor.

For additional information please call the Immunization Clinic at(828) 250-5096 or visit www.buncombecounty.org/flu.

About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the news editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment tab and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for more almost six years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.