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County receives more flu vaccine

The Hernando County Health Department recently received 3,000 doses of the adult flu vaccine.

"There are a few physicians who still need vaccine," said Health Department spokeswoman Ann-Gayl Ellis. The department will provide vaccine clinics for people who didn't get flu shots from their physicians.

"The trick is, it's kind of getting late in the year for vaccinations," said Ellis, adding that the ideal time to get flu shots is Oct. 15 to Nov. 15.

"This is kind of late, but the flu season goes all the way into March, so we still encourage people in the high-risk groups to get vaccinated," Ellis said. "Even though it may not be the most ideal situation, it's still better than no vaccine."

About 1,800 doses of the vaccine were distributed to local physicians who requested it, including Gulfview Walk-In Clinic (666-5555) and New Age Medical Center (596-9095). Individuals can contact these facilities to make an appointment.

The Health Department and Maxim Health Systems will administer 1,200 doses at two community flu shot clinics next week:

+ 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582, 14494 Cortez Blvd.

+ 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, St. Anthony Catholic Church, 20428 Cortez Blvd. (truck bypass).

Vaccinations will be given first-come, first-served.

Appointment tickets will be distributed at the beginning of the clinic until they are all gone. No appointments will issued prior to clinic start time. The number of appointment tickets will correspond with the number of available doses, so those who receive a ticket will be guaranteed a flu shot. Each ticket will indicate an appointment time slot (for example, 9 to 9:30 a.m.); those who receive appointment times later in the day will be encouraged to leave and return within 15 minutes of their appointment.

So far this year, the Health Department has received 11,250 flu shots, Ellis said.

Flu shots will be given only to "high-risk" individuals as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumonia shots will also be available at the clinic. For information, call the Health Department at 540-6800.

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