Reina P. Cunningham
With high flu activity continuing nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to stress the first and most important step to preventing the flu is to get a flu vaccination.
According to the CDC it is not too late to get vaccinated, if you can find the vaccine.
At this point in the flu season, the vaccine will likely be harder to find than it was earlier in the season. The CDC warns you may need to contact more than one provider (pharmacy, health department, or doctor) to find available vaccine.
The CDC has a HealthMap Vaccine Finder on their website, www.cdc.gov, to help find the closest location to receive a vaccination.
According to the finder, there are only three locations in Bell County that still has the flu vaccination available.
These locations are Kroger Pharmacy in Middlesboro, Rite Aid #1657 in Pineville and Walgreens in Pineville.
The Kroger Pharmacy confirmed not only do they still have the flu shot available, they are expecting to receive another order of the vaccine.
Rite Aid in Pineville only had one flu shot left at press time.
“We have been bombarded,” said a Rite Aid representative in response to being down to their last vaccination. “And (at this time) we do not know if we will get anymore in.”
Walgreens in Pineville had 20 shots left at press time and are expected to receive more vaccines by the end of the week.
As earlier reported, the Bell County Health Department is currently out of the flu vaccine and does not expect to receive anymore vaccines this flu season.
The Claiborne County Health Department does still has the flu vaccine available, but in very limited supplies. Bell County residents can receive the flu vaccine at the Claiborne Health Department on a first come, first serve basis.
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get an annual flu vaccine, preferably as soon as vaccines are available.
Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk in order to decrease their likelihood of getting sick and possibly having serious illness.
People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease) and people 65 years and older.