PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – While ghosts and goblins are preparing to send a chill up your spine, you can take steps to protect yourself from something that will literally give you the chills – and a fever, body aches and potentially pneumonia.
It’s time to think about flu season and your annual vaccine for protection against a virus that can mean lost days of work and school.
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH Pinellas) urges all Floridians older than six months to get their vaccinations before Halloween.
While Florida’s flu season peaks in the early months of the new year, early vaccination ensures protection during the busy holiday season when many gather for celebrations and family events.
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To ensure you have your shot in time so you can focus on tricks and treats, DOH Pinellas will be hosting its Eighth Annual Flu Boo. This year, it will be held at:
DOH Pinellas Park Health Center 6350 76th Ave. N, Pinellas Park
- Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
- While supplies last * Weather Permitting
- Vaccines at this drive-through event will be provided at no cost.
In addition to taking precautions such as proper handwashing, sanitizing frequently-handled surfaces and staying home when you are ill, it is important to avoid the flu by getting the seasonal flu vaccine each autumn. Flu strains change from year to year, so a new vaccine is needed at the start of each season. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu.
You cannot catch the flu from the flu shot. The viruses used to make the vaccine are dead, and incapable of causing the illness. While some people may feel tired and achy the day after the shot, that is a normal response as the immune system develops antibodies. Those symptoms pale in comparison to the high fever, body aches and other symptoms a full-blown case of the flu can bring.
For more information about the Flu Boo or how to get a flu vaccine at DOH Pinellas, call (727) 824-6900 or visit www.FluFreeFlorida.com.