Health Department begins giving free flu shots

Health Department begins giving free flu shots
October 08
00:00 2014
(pictured above:  Residents wait to receive flu shots last week.)

The Forsyth County Health Department has been busy offering free flu shots to local residents.
The flu vaccine will be offered at the Health Department’s Clinic 3 at 799 Highland Ave. for as long as supplies last. More than 7,500 doses have been ordered.

Michelle Metscher prepares to administer a flu shot.

Michelle Metscher prepares to administer a flu shot.

“Public health is about prevention, and immunizations are the easiest way to prevent diseases. Oct. 1 was our first day giving flu shots, and we gave about 385 and 450 on Tuesday,” said Immunization Program Manager Felicia Lovett.

Stephen Stover, 55, was among the first to get the shot. For him, the vaccine is not optional.
“(I have) Type 2 Diabetic, and it is necessary for me to get one every year,” he said.

Stephen Stover

Stephen Stover

The vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months old; there is a higher potency dose for those 65 or older.



“I do prefer that people get it earlier in the season, but we don’t expect to run out,” Lovett said.
There has been a wait for those who have come for the shots, but Lovett said the staff is working hard to make the process efficient and as seamless as possible. Stover said the fact that the service is free more than makes up for the wait.

“Some people can’t afford to go buy it, or they don’t have insurance to get a flu shot, so this a great thing,” he said. “When someone is doing you a service, you have to learn that patience is a virtue.”

Flu symptoms may include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and/or fatigue. Thousands of missed work days are attributed to the illness each year. Lovett says all of it can be avoided with a vaccine. She knows that many are wary of the vaccine, but stresses that it is safe and effective.

“You cannot get sick from the flu vaccine; there is no live virus in it,” she said. “People who have a little bit of fever or body aches after getting the flu vaccine: that’s their immune system working, and we want that to happen. Your immune system is gearing up so when you see the flu, you’re protected against it.”

Pat Johnson has received her shot at the Health Department for many years.

Pat Johnson

Pat Johnson

“It is important to keep yourself protected from diseases and germs for the winter – your germs and others’ (germs),” said Johnson, a Health Department retiree.

Johnson brought her niece, sister and nephew along with her. They each received shots as well.
“A lot of people weren’t getting them, so I started getting them to come with me,” she said.
The vaccine is available Monday through Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday from 9 a.m. – noon.

For more information about the flu shots or other vaccinations, call the Health Department at 336-703-3100 or visit

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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