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ALACHUA COUNTY ‒ The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (DOH-Alachua) is offering influenza vaccine starting immediately. “Receiving an influenza vaccine is a primary preventive measure against influenza infection,” said Paul Myers, Administrator of the Alachua County Health Department. “In addition to getting a flu immunization, staying home when ill, practicing proper cough etiquette, and washing your hands are effective personal means to protect yourself and the community from a variety of illnesses.”

Parents and guardians are encouraged to take advantage of the convenience of school-based flu clinics for their children. “Popular, painless, safe and effective FluMist® is once again available at school clinics, while FluMist® and shots are available at all health department sites,” Myers said.

Flu immunizations are being offered at the Health Department’s main clinic in Gainesville (224 S.E. 24th Street, 352-334-7910), the City of Alachua satellite clinic located in the Hitchcock’s shopping plaza (15530 N.W. U.S. Hwy 441, 386-462-2542), and the southwest Gainesville satellite clinic (816 S.W. 64th Terrace, 352-225-4320). Appointments are required for flu shots at all three health department sites and these can be made by calling the clinics.

This year’s flu vaccine is effective against the major circulating strains of flu, and Fluzone® High-Dose shots are available for those 65 and older. The cost for the vaccine is $25. If citizens have Medicare part B, there is no charge if they bring their Medicare B card and any other supplemental insurance cards with them. Citizens who normally receive their vaccines from providers other than the Health Department should contact them for vaccine availability. Those between the ages of 6 months and 18 years who are uninsured, have Medicaid or an insurance that does not cover the immunization may receive the vaccine at the Alachua County Health Department at no cost to them.

Parents of public and private school students are encouraged to review and complete FluMist® consent forms provided by their child’s school, or download the consent form online at http://alachua.floridahealth.gov/.

FluMist® clinics will be held in the schools this fall and a completed consent form is required for participation. FluMist® is effective, painless, and offered at no cost.

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