Ocala —The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is now offering free influenza vaccines for people of all ages.
The shot for the 2021-22 flu season is available to all who are interested whether or not they have health insurance.
No appointment is necessary.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people may get a flu vaccine along with, or in addition to, a COVID-19 vaccine, which also is available for people age 5 and older at the Department of Health’s main office, 1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala.
The Department of Health encourages county residents to obtain a flu vaccine. Our community is about to enter prime time for flu season, which typically runs between mid-December and February. The vaccine is the best method to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu and its potentially serious effects.
Although the flu affects everyone differently, getting vaccinated can help reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. Those who get vaccinated still may get sick, but the vaccine helps reduce the severity of the illness. The flu vaccine can be especially beneficial for those with chronic health conditions, women who are pregnant, and children.
Those with the flu are most contagious with the first three or four days of feeling ill. The most common symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, and headaches.
The Department of Health encourages people with questions about the flu vaccine to consult their health care provider.
Other steps that can help reduce the risk of contracting the flu include frequently washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces or objects that you touch frequently, and staying home if you don’t feel well.
Flu vaccines also are available at many health care providers’ offices, pharmacies, and urgent care facilities throughout Marion County.
For more information about the flu vaccine, contact the Department of Health in Marion County at 352-629-0137.