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Hundreds of flu shots given Thursday
Brooklet resident Juanita Newton, right, gets a flu shot from LPN Anthonia Perkins Thursday at the Bulloch County Health Department. - photo by MICHELLE BOAEN/staff

Flu Season

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 The Bulloch County Health Department focused on nothing but flu shots Thursday, giving hundreds of shots to vaccinate people from the illness in preparation for the upcoming flu season.
    And while flu shots were the primary focus of the Thursday, Bulloch County Health Department Nurse Manager Cindi Hart said they were also using the day as a practice run in the event of a bioterrorism attack happened in the area.
    "We're doing that in case we have to vaccinate all of Bulloch County against any disease," Hart said.
    To do that, Health Department officials had the facility set up to have people spend a short time there to get their vaccine.
    As of 5 p.m., Hart said they had given 417 shots.
    Last year's event drew approximately 400 people to get shots.
    When patients first entered, they were given a clipboard with the necessary forms to fill out. That information was then entered into the Health Department's computer system to verify they received a shot and then the patients were escorted to another room where they got their vaccination.
    "They're only here for about 10 minutes," Hart said.
    Ray and Mary Hendrix said they always get their flu shots early as a precautionary measure.
    They said they were pleased with the efficient set-up Thursday.
    "We were here for five, maybe ten, minutes at the most," Ray Hendrix said.
    "It was wonderful," said Mary Hendrix.
    Heath officials have urged everyone in the "high risk" groups to get a flu vaccination prior to the onset of flu season.
    According to the Center for Disease Control, the high-risk groups include all children between five and 50 months old, pregnant women, those more than 50 years old, residents of nursing homes and anyone older than six-months old with certain chronic medical conditions.
    Children between the ages of six months and eight-years-old receiving a flu shot for the first time will need to get a follow-up booster shot one month after the initial shot.
    In an average flu season, approximately 36,000 Americans die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized because of complications from the illness.
    While Thursday was dedicated entirely to flu vaccines, the health department will continue offering the shots "until we run out," Hart said.
    "We should have enough to go though October, November and December," she said.
    Flu shots are $20 each.
    For more information, contact the Bulloch County Health Department at (912) 764-3800.
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