Fall is in the air. Unfortunately, so are the germs that cause the flu.
Every year, the flu keeps thousands of people away from work, school, friends and family.
The Bryan County Health Department now is offering the flu vaccine in both the injectable (shot) and nasal spray forms. The cost is $25 per dose.
A high-dose flu vaccine also is being offered for people 65 and older. It is designed to provide the best protection for that age group. High-dose vaccines cost $40 per dose.
Neither the flu shot nor the nasal spray can cause the flu. The shot is approved for use in people 6 months and older, including healthy people, those with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women.
The nasal spray is approved for use in healthy people 2-49 years old who are not pregnant.
The 2011-12 flu vaccine protects against three strains of influenza virus: influenza A H3N2; influenza B virus; and 2009 H1N1.
“The flu vaccine is safe and effective and can help protect your family from illness, hospitalization or worse,” Bryan County Health Department Nurse Manager Joanne Burnsed said.
The flu virus easily is spread through coughs and sneezes and by touching something with the virus on it and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
That’s why the following health habits are important:
• Stay home when you’re sick.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow and not your hand.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Flu vaccinations will be available at the Bryan County Health Department from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday; and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday. Appointments are encouraged.
For more information, call the Bryan County Health Department in Richmond Hill at 756-2611 or in Pembroke at 653-4331.