Harbin Clinic to offer flu shot clinics

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Flu season isn’t far away, and Harbin Clinic is offering its patients a chance get their flu shots in a quick, easy way.

Harbin Clinic Family Medicine Cartersville and Harbin Clinic Pediatrics Cartersville at 150 Gentilly Blvd. will be hosting flu shot clinics for their patients this month and next month.

The family medicine clinics will be this Saturday and again Saturday, Sept. 24, from 8 a.m. to noon, and patients should bring a photo ID and their insurance card.

The pediatric clinics will be the last three Saturdays in October — the 15th, 22nd and 29th — from 8 a.m. to noon, and parents should bring their photo ID and insurance card.

“Our patients can get their flu shot if they are already seeing a family-medicine physician at the time of their routine appointment,” Dr. Jayson Fields, a family medicine provider, said. “However, we all know how busy we can get during this time of year. The flu clinics offer patients, both young and old, an easy way to come and get their flu shot with greater speed and convenience.”

Pediatrician Dr. Tammy Williams said flu shots are as important for children as they are for adults.

“We often think about elderly people being at risk from influenza, but children are actually hospitalized and die from influenza at rates greater than or equal to the elderly,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized with flu-related complications every year during flu season, which typically runs from October through March, according to a press release. In Georgia, 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu every season.

“Getting a flu shot is really the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting the flu, and there is clear evidence that it reduces the frequency and severity of flu cases,” Fields said.

The clinic also recommends that everyone from ages 6 months and older get a new flu shot as soon as possible every year since strains of the virus are constantly changing.

The CDC said it takes about two weeks after the vaccination for the body’s immune system to fully respond and for the person to be protected, “so getting a flu shot sooner can help ensure you’re protected,” the press release said.

One change for this flu season is the CDC is not recommending the flu mist vaccine “so only the flu shot is available,” the release said.

Harbin Clinic has been doing flu shot clinics for 12 years and generally has between 100 and 200 patients visit each one. The shots are covered by insurance.

The flu virus is spread through coughs, sneezes and dirty hands, and the clinic physicians recommend these health practices to help fight it:

• Wash your hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

• Use a tissue to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.

• Stay home if you begin exhibiting flu symptoms.

• If you feel ill, ask for a face mask to prevent spreading flu germs.

For more information on the flu shot clinics, call 770-382-2580.