Flu shots available in Henry, as Clayton supply dwindles

By Ed Brock and Michael Davis

Henry County may be the only place you might be able to find a flu shot pretty soon.

Like many other counties around the Atlanta metro area, Clayton County is running short of flu vaccine.

“Right now we don't have any,” said Veronda Griffin, spokeswoman for the Clayton County Health Department. “We're anticipating more to come in the middle of next week,”

Once the new vaccine comes in it will be available to everybody for $25 a shot.

However, at the Children's Clinic in Morrow the supply of flu vaccines is holding steady.

“Right now we're still doing mainly the high risk,” said Annette Trammell, medical assistant at the clinic on Mt. Zion Road.

On Nov. 14 they will begin issuing vaccinations to other patients.

Flu shots will be available from the Henry County Health Department beginning Nov. 14 but ending Nov. 18.

The department for a week last month opened vaccinations to high-risk patients, but were not vaccinating those that did not have risk factors that can complicate flu, such as respiratory problems.

“You want to make sure your high-risk population receives it first,” said Zelda Butts, the nurse manager of the Henry County Health Department.

Those high risk groups include people 65 years old and older with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes, anybody else with those same health conditions, pregnant women, infants between 6 and 23 months old, health care workers who have direct contact with patients and residents of long term care facilities.

The department also conducted a clinic at Stockbridge City Hall on Monday for high-risk patients, and plans another for Nov. 30 for the general public.

Butts said the county has about 2,000 shots, which should last through the week of Nov. 14. She said the department as ordered another shipment of about 1,000, but has not received it yet.

And while the worst of flu season won't be for several weeks, those who get shots should get them early, “so that your body will have time to build up the antibodies to ward it off,” Butts said.

The flu shot won't always keep people from getting the flu, but can lessen its severity, Butts said.

Flu symptoms are generally worse than those associated with the common cold, and include increased aching and fatigue, prolonged fever and other symptoms.

“Unfortunately there is no quick fix for (flu),” Butts said. “But you can treat the symptoms.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide a weekly “Flu Report” at www.cdc.gov/flu/. According to the report flu activity has been low in the United States as of last week, .4 percent of the 755 specimens collected during that week tested positive for influenza.