Free flu shots to help slow the spread of the influenza virus

Free flu shots to help slow the spread of the influenza virus in Knox Co.

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Ciara Cleveland and her 3-year-old daughter Kinsley took a trip to the Knox County Health Department to get their free flu shot. Ciara Cleveland and her 3-year-old daughter Kinsley took a trip to the Knox County Health Department to get their free flu shot.
According to the Knox County Health Department, flu activity is high right now in East Tennessee, and to better protect the community, the State Department of Health is offering free flu vaccinations while supplies last. According to the Knox County Health Department, flu activity is high right now in East Tennessee, and to better protect the community, the State Department of Health is offering free flu vaccinations while supplies last.
"No vaccine is 100 percent. It's about 85 to 90 percent effective, but folks still come down with the flu even after they get the shot," said Dr. Martha Buchanan. "No vaccine is 100 percent. It's about 85 to 90 percent effective, but folks still come down with the flu even after they get the shot," said Dr. Martha Buchanan.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Chances are you've had the flu or know someone who has this season. According to the Knox County Health Department, flu activity is high right now in East Tennessee, and to better protect the community, the State Department of Health is offering free flu vaccinations while supplies last.

At the Knox County Health Department, people have been waiting patiently for the immunization. Ciara Cleveland and her 3-year-old daughter Kinsley took a trip to the Knox County Health Department to get their free flu shot.

"Me and my daughter are here to get flu shots because of all the illnesses and deaths that have been occurring in Tennessee. We've been sick lately, so we are finally getting around to getting one," said Cleveland.

According to Knox County Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan, even though the flu is circulating in the community it's not too late to get vaccinated. Also, all the strains of the flu circulating around the United States are all contained in the flu vaccine.

Even if you are vaccinated, there is still a risk of getting the influenza virus.

"No vaccine is 100 percent. It's about 85 to 90 percent effective, but folks still come down with the flu even after they get the shot. Those folks who have been vaccinated will have shorter durations and less severe case of the flu," said Dr. Buchanan.

Also, remember the vaccine takes two weeks to work.

"If you've already got the virus in your system or you get exposed in that two weeks, you're likely to get sick from the flu," said Dr. Buchanan.

Ciara Cleveland is still happy to have the extra protection for her daughter and appreciates that there's no charge. The Knox County Health Department isn't the only place to get a free flu shot. Many of the surrounding counties are also offering the free shots as well while supplies last. For more information contact your local health department.

Dr. Buchanan says if you have the flu stay home. Don't spread the virus. Also wash your hands often. In Knox County, the clinics are open 8 a.m. To 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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