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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Flu vaccines now free for everyone in Marion County

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is now offering free influenza vaccines for people of all ages.

The vaccine for the 2021-22 flu season is available to everyone who is interested, regardless of whether or not they have health insurance.

No appointment is necessary.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people can get a flu vaccine along with, or in addition to, a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccines are available for residents ages 5 and older at the Department of Health’s main office located at 1801 SE 32nd Avenue in Ocala.

The Department of Health encourages all county residents to receive a flu vaccine. The ‘prime time’ for flu season is typically from mid-December through February. The flu vaccine is the best way for residents to protect themselves and their families against the flu and its potentially serious effects.

While the flu affects everyone differently, the vaccine can help reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. Vaccinated individuals may still get sick, but the vaccine helps reduce the severity of the illness.

According to the Department of Health, the flu vaccine is especially beneficial for those with chronic health conditions, women who are pregnant, and children.

When someone has the flu, they are most contagious during the first three or four days that they feel sick. The most common symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, headaches, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle or body aches.

Anyone with questions about the flu vaccine should speak with their health care provider.

To help reduce the risk of getting the flu, the Department of Health recommends that everyone frequently wash their hands with soap and water, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, stay home when not feeling well, and avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.

Flu vaccines will also be available throughout Marion County at many health care providers’ offices, pharmacies, and urgent care facilities.

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health in Marion County website.