"Children, adults, senior citizens — they should take the time to get vaccinated," says Christie Kelly, program associate with the Catoosa County Health Department.
The flu season generally runs from October through May, but peaks in January and February.
Flu vaccines can be found at health departments and most pharmacies in the area, and a shot usually takes about two weeks to become fully effective.
According to Kelly, the health department has teamed up with the Catoosa County school system in order to get area kids the necessary vaccination.
"We are working closely with Catoosa County Schools superintendent Denia Reese and school nurses to vaccinate both students and staff," Kelly said. "We are taking the vaccines to the schools in hopes to keep our students and teachers healthy. Studies have shown that this project results in higher attendance rates for our schools."
So far in October, Kelly says the program has resulted in more than 800 vaccinations of students and teachers.
The Catoosa County Health Department was recently awarded the 2012 Walt Orenstein Champions for Immunization Award by the Georgia Department of Public Health Office of Immunization. The award is annually given to a health department in recognition of exemplifying the immunization care set forth in standards for child, adolescent, and adult immunization practices.
The only vaccine currently available at the health department is the standard injection for $20.
Local pharmacies in the area such as Walgreen's and CVS are administering daily flu shots via appointment or by walk-in.
Although the price usually depends on what type of insurance is involved, employees with the CVS Pharmacy on Nashville Street in Ringgold say that even those with no insurance can receive a vaccination for about $17.
For more information about flu shots or the flu season in general, contact the Catoosa County Health Department at 706-406-2000.