Editorial: Take advantage of upcoming drive-thru flu shot clinics

Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle/body aches, headaches and fatigue.

Those are all the uncomfortable symptoms of the flu, which no one wants to be stricken with. You can help prevent yourself from getting the flu, and protect those around you as well, by getting a flu shot. And there's an easy way to get one.

Over the next two weeks, local health departments in Whitfield and Murray counties will host Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinics. These vaccinations are quick, convenient and not hard on your wallet. You don't even have to get out of your vehicle.

"You'll remain safely in your vehicle while driving through to get your flu shot from public health staff wearing COVID-19 protective gear," according to the North Georgia Health District. "The shot is no-cost if covered by one of several health plans. If paying out of pocket, the cost is still relatively low at $25 for the regular flu vaccine and $65 for the high-dose flu vaccine for people aged 65 and older."

Both vaccines protect against four different strains of flu. Cash, check, Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana and United Healthcare insurance are accepted, according to the North Georgia Health District.

The two local drive-thru clinics are:

• Murray County Health Department: Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Murray County Parks and Recreation Department, 651 Hyden Tyler Road in Chatsworth. Call (706) 695-4585 for more information or log onto bit.ly/DriveThruFluShots-Chatsworth.

• Whitfield County Health Department: Tuesday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dalton Convention Center, 2211 Tony Ingle Parkway. Call (706) 279-9600 for more information or log onto bit.ly/DriveThruFluShots-Dalton.

Here are tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent you from contracting the flu:

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Flu shots are especially important as we are in the midst of the COVID pandemic, and keeping the people with the flu out of our hospitals and emergency rooms which are already strained.

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