The Flu Clinic Goes Mobile: Cobb & Douglas Public Health Offers On-Site Flu Vaccine Appointments

December 15, 2014

The onset of this year’s flu season was met with a series of alarming news for families in Georgia.

More than 90 percent of influenza specimens tested nationwide are Influenza A H3N2 (H3N2), according to nationwide flu tests. Seasons when H3N2 is the dominant flu strain tend to have higher rates of hospitalization and deaths due to flu-related health complications.  Furthermore, half of the H3N2 viruses found this flu season don’t match the vaccine produced for the 2014-2015 season, indicating that the virus has changed since the vaccine was formulated. 

Despite the recent reports questioning the efficacy of the flu vaccination, health experts agree that the single most important way to protect yourself from the flu is to receive a flu shot.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu shot remains an effective tool in combating the flu because it can provide protection from multiple strains of the virus as well as shorten the length of common flu symptoms.

Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) is working throughout its community to inform residents that it’s not too late to get a flu shot.  In an effort to make it easy for the community to access flu vaccines, CDPH’s Immunization Clinic is hitting the road and going mobile. 

To accommodate its clients’ busy schedules, CDPH is taking an innovative approach to providing health care services by coordinating on-site flu vaccination appointments for local businesses and community events with groups of 20 or more people. 

“Whether people walk in or take advantage of our mobile immunization team, we want to remind individuals that the flu vaccine provides the best protection against the flu,” said Dr. Jack Kennedy, district health director, Cobb & Douglas Public Health.

CDPH is also making the flu vaccine even more accessible by reducing the cost to only $15 to everyone 6 months and older in Marietta, East Cobb, Acworth and Douglasville.

“We are committed to ensuring everyone is properly protected, so we’re encouraging community members to walk in to one of our many clinic locations,” said Karen Thomas, District Immunization Director, Cobb & Douglas Public Health.  “CDPH is also ready and willing to come to any group in Cobb or Douglas County that has 20 or more people who would like to get immunized.”

In addition to providing flu vaccinations, CDPH is also educating community members on how to minimize risks of contracting the flu by following a few simple steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleanser
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children home
  • Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, towels or other personal items
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then put used tissues in the trash and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve

Flu vaccine appointments through CDPH are available between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.  No appointment is necessary.

Children without health insurance and children with Medicaid or PeachCare are also eligible to receive a state-supplied vaccine.  CDPH is able to bill Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Meritain, TRICARE Standard, Humana, Coventry, Cigna PPO, Cigna Open Access and First Health Insurances with no co-pay for the vaccine.  Cash, Visa and MasterCard will also be accepted. 

To schedule an on-site flu vaccine appointment at your next event through CDPH, call (770) 514-2307 for more information or visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org

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