Tennessee Department of Health: Get a flu shot!

J. H. Osborne • Updated Feb 15, 2018 at 11:53 AM

KINGSPORT — Due to an increase in flu numbers across the state of Tennessee, Sullivan County Regional Health Department will be partnering with Tennessee Department of Health to offer free flu vaccines at both its Blountville office and its Kingsport office Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., while supplies last. The event is part of a statewide “Flu Shot Friday” organized by the Tennessee Department of Health.

The SCRHD's main office is at 154 Blountville Bypass in Blountville. The Kingsport office is at 1041 E. Sullivan St. (at the corner of Wilcox Drive).

Free clinics also are scheduled Friday in other Northeast Tennessee counties, although most others, according to a TDH press release, will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"We are having these clinics to emphasize it’s not too late to get vaccinated because we expect a lot more weeks of seasonal flu that we all know has already been intense. Vaccination is still the best protection we have against this serious and deadly illness,” TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner said in the press release. "Yes, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, stay home if you are sick. But above all get vaccinated. It can help you and those around you stay healthy and if you do get sick, it just might save your life."

Appointments are not needed to receive a flu shot during this event.

TDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone aged six months and older. Unfortunately, flu vaccines don't work as well against H3N2 viruses, which menans some people who get vaccinated may still get sick; howevr, flu vaccination helps make illness milder for those who do get sick, according to the press relase from TDH, which advised:

"Flu virus is highly contagious, so it's important for people who are sick to stay home and make every effort to avoid contact with others for at least 24 hours after their symptoms have resolved to help prevent further spread of the illness. This includes staying away from work, school and other public places while ill."

According to the TDH:

• Hawkins County Health Department will offer the free flu shot clinic at two locations, 201 Park Blvd., in Rogersville and 247 Silver Lake Rd., Church Hill.

• Washington County Health Department will offer the free flu shot clinic at 219 Princeton Rd., Johnson City.

• The Greene County Health Department will offer the free flu shot clinic at 810 Church St., Greeneville.

• Hancock County Health Department will offer the free flu shot clinic at 178 Willow St., Sneedville.

The SCRHD offer these additional tips to protect your family and others from the flu:

• Use "respiratory etiquette” by coughing into your elbow or a tissue instead of your hands.

• Wash hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub.

• Routine cleaning and disinfection in the home and workplace are important to reduce flu risks.

Learn more about preventing seasonal flu at www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm.

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