Health Department Offers Free Flu Shots

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cases of influenza have spiked across the Southeastern U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department encourages everyone who can be vaccinated against flu to do so. Free flu shots are available at their clinics for anyone who is 19-64 years-old and uninsured.

So far, the predominant strain of flu circulating is H1N1, which is included in this year’s vaccine. The CDC notes that during the 2009 pandemic, H1N1 caused more illness in children and young adults, compared to older adults. 

“It’s important to remember than anyone can become seriously ill from flu,” said Becky Barnes, administrator at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department. “There have been a number of severe cases of respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults." 

Vaccination not only protects you, but also those around you who might be more vulnerable to complications from flu, such as children younger than six months and people with chronic health conditions. The Health Department has free injectable (shot) vaccine for anyone 19-64 years-old who does not have health insurance. 

Call or visit one of these health clinics:

Third Street Facility – 209-8050
Ooltewah Health Center – 238-4269
Sequoyah Health Center – 842-3031

Birchwood Health Center – 961-0446 

Officials said everyone six months of age and older should get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu. People who get vaccinated are less likely to need treatment for the flu by a healthcare provider. Getting the vaccine has been shown to offer substantial other benefits including reducing illness, antibiotic use, time lost from work, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Flu Vaccine Options:

The Health Department offers trivalent injectable (shot) or nasal mist (FluMist) vaccine. Note: The federally funded free vaccine is only available as a trivalent injectable (shot) vaccine.
The flu shot is approved for people older than six months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
As an alternative to the flu shot, healthy, non-pregnant, people ages 2 to 49 years may choose the nasal spray vaccine, FluMist. 

Flu Vaccine Cost:
The cost of the flu shot or nasal spray vaccine is $32.
Pneumonia vaccine is available for $90.
Flu and pneumonia vaccines combined are $100.

The Health Department accepts Medicare Part B, Blue Advantage, Railroad Medicare, TennCare, cash, or check.
Uninsured and underinsured children may receive vaccine at no charge or reduced charged based on a sliding scale.
Uninsured adults, ages 19-64, may receive the federally funded injectable flu vaccine free of charge.

For more information visit http://health.hamiltontn.org/.


Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society's Buddy Walk Is This Saturday

The Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society will host its annual Buddy Walk on Saturday. More than 1,000 people are set to welcome Steven from the award-winning reality show Born This Way and walk to help raise awareness for those with Down syndrome. Officials said, "Join us for the brand new Buddy Strut where special guests will escort our loved ones down the runway so we can celebrate ... (click for more)

President And CEO Darrell Moore To Retire From Parkridge Health System

Darrell Moore, president and CEO of Parkridge Health System, will retire in December after a 40-year health care career. Mr. Moore has served the last decade of his career in this role at Parkridge, an HCA facility. “I’m grateful that I am able to retire after a rewarding career committed to providing the best patient care through a compassionate, professional and friendly environment,” ... (click for more)

City To Begin Shipping Much Of Its Garbage To Bradley County

City Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said the city plans to begin shipping much of its garbage to Bradley County. He said the deal is projected to extend the life of the city landfill at Birchwood by 15 years. Mr. Holland said Bradley County "has a huge landfill and takes garbage from Knoxville and other municipalities. It's regional." He said Bradley County charges ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)