Flu Shots Now Offered in Downtown Augusta at Cooper Drug

Monday, October 1 2012 2:46 PM - by Brett Kappelmann

Isn't this weather wonderful! As temperatures begin to drop and we finally receive relief from another sweltering hot summer, it is time to start thinking about vaccinating against the flu as we head into another winter season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated against the flu each year in the fall. You can get your flu shot at your doctor's office or even at your pharmacy. For the first time in our 90 year history, we are now offering flu shots at your local independent pharmacy in downtown Augusta. There is no cost to Medicare Part B beneficiaries since the flu shot is covered at 100% annually. We even take care of the billing for you! We also bill private insurances if covered. For the noninsured, the cost is just 27 dollars. Our primary immunizer is our pharmacist Rachel Henman, who served as a mass immunizer for several years before joining the Cooper Drug team. We also have been holding off-site flu shot clinics at several locations around Augusta and the surrounding communities and I am proud to announce that they have been a complete success! Please call us at 775-2289 for questions and to get on our scheduling list or even if you are interested in having us give a flu shot clinic at your group location. We only need about twenty participants to be able to come to your location. We appreciate your support to your local, independent pharmacy.

Why should people get vaccinated against the flu? Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older. The "seasonal flu season" in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.

During this time, flu viruses are circulating in the population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

How do flu vaccines work? Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.

Three kinds of influenza viruses commonly circulate among people today: influenza B viruses, influenza A (H1N1) viruses, and influenza A (H3N2) viruses. Each year, one flu virus of each kind is used to produce seasonal influenza vaccine.

Who Should Get Vaccinated This Season? Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. It's especially important for some people to get vaccinated such as people who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu. This includes people who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, pregnant women, and people 65 years and older. If you are pregnant or under the age of six, you should get your flu shot at your doctor's office.