North Central Health District


Macon-Bibb County Health Department Hosting Drive-Thru Flu Clinic Nov. 9


Macon-Bibb County Health Department is encouraging all residents who have not received an annual flu shot to attend the drive-thru flu clinic Nov. 9, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 171 Emery Hwy. During the drive-thru clinic, other clinical services will be available in a limited capacity to ensure quick vaccination for drive-thru participants.

“Getting a flu shot does more than just protect yourself against the flu,” said Macon-Bibb County Health Department Nurse Manager Beverlyn Ming. “It helps protect your family, friends, co-workers and anyone you have contact with in your community. No matter what other steps you take to fight germs, the best way to fight the flu is getting your annual flu shot.”

Flu shots given during the drive-thru clinic will be given at no cost to participants, however insurances will be billed for the vaccine. The health department accepts a variety of insurances including Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna, Coventry, Aetna, Medicaid and Medicare. Participants are asked to have their insurance cards ready when they enter the drive-thru clinic. Uninsured individuals will only need to pay $25 for a regular dose flu shot and $55 for a high dose vaccine for those who are aged 65 or older. For more information on accepted insurances and service fees, visit

In addition to helping more Macon-Bibb County residents get their flu shot, the drive-thru clinic will serve as an important emergency preparedness exercise, testing plans and procedures covering how medicine can be distributed in emergencies.

Annual influenza vaccination is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for everyone aged six months or older. Those over the age of 65 are recommended to get a “high-dose” vaccine to increase immune system response to the virus. The body can take around two weeks to build up immunity after receiving a flu shot, so it is better to get vaccinated before flu season begins. Each year, flu causes a number of preventable deaths – vaccination can protect you from that risk.

While seasonal influenza can affect people throughout the year, flu activity is highest during fall and winter. The CDC reports flu season begins in October and can last through May, peaking between December and February.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that affects the throat, nose and lungs. The virus is spread mainly by infected people when they sneeze, cough or talk, creating droplets containing the virus which can be inhaled by nearby people. If the droplets containing the virus land on a surface, the virus can spread when a person touches the surface, then touches their mouth, nose or eyes.

Once the flu virus has entered an unvaccinated person’s body, it may take one to four days before that person shows symptoms. Common symptoms of the flu include cough, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, fever, headaches and body aches. Some people with the flu may experience vomiting and diarrhea, but these symptoms are more common in children than adults. People over 65 years old, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses or weakened immune systems have the risk of developing flu-related complications including sinus or ear infections, dehydration, bacterial pneumonia or a worsening of chronic medical conditions. Complications from flu may require hospitalization and sometimes lead to death.

If you experience flu symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. Flu can be treated with antiviral medication that can reduce the time you are sick, make your symptoms milder and prevent flu-related complications.

The best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting an annual flu shot. In addition to vaccination, you can reduce the chance of spreading influenza by taking steps to prevent the spread of germs:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • If you begin to experience flu-like symptoms, stay home for 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities.
  • Always cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze and throw away used tissues immediately.
  • If you do not have tissues, sneeze and cough into the crook of your elbow, then make sure to wash clothing to kill germs.
  • Keep your hands clean by washing with soap and warm water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces and objects (countertops, children’s toys) that may be contaminated with germs.

For more information on seasonal influenza, visit

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