FULTON COUNTY – Fulton County continues to urge residents to take the flu vaccine. According to a Dec. 3 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) teleconference, Georgia has encountered a “major increase” in reported flu infections when compared to past seasons and other parts of the country.
Prior to the reported increase in flu cases in Georgia, Fulton County has been dispensing the vaccine in senior high-rises, churches, businesses, libraries, public and private schools and during health fairs.
As of Nov. 30, nearly 3,800 doses of the flu vaccine have been dispensed. Residents are advised to visit health centers, their doctors or their local pharmacies to get the flu vaccine.
“We are committed to reaching all areas of the county to dispense the flu vaccine throughout Fulton County, as well as sending our health technicians to public and private facilities in the community,” said Fulton County Health Services Director Patrice A. Harris.
“We want citizens to receive the vaccine to protect themselves, family members, friends and particularly those who may already be vulnerable to the flu and potential complications.”
Matthew McKenna, medical director of Health Services, specifically urges flu immunizations for school children.
“Immunization has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to prevent influenza in the overall community, because so much transmission occurs in the schools where many children are brought together into small areas. This is particularly important this year, since the strain of flu we are seeing in Georgia tends to affect children more than adults,” said McKenna.
McKenna, who served at the CDC for more than two decades, advises citizens with high-risk chronic disease to get the flu vaccine. People at high risk for developing flu-related complications include adults 65 and older, pregnant women, children under age 5 and those with chronic diseases such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes or those with weakened immune systems.