published Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Getting a jump on flu season

by Emily Bregel
  • photo
    Staff photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Sep 1, 2010 Vials of flu vaccine are photographed at the CVS Minute Clinic in Riverview.

Aiming to ward off a reprise of last year’s H1N1 flu pandemic, health officials are pushing more people than ever to get a seasonal flu vaccination.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for almost everyone older than 6 months. Last year’s pandemic of H1N1 — also known as swine flu — was unusual in that it hit healthy young adults, local doctors said.

“Last year, the swine flu really took a big hit on the people who didn’t have antibodies to it and made healthy young people sick,” said Dr. Nita Shumaker, a Chattanooga pediatrician.

She recommends that even healthy young people get the flu shot.

In a school setting, “if one kid get the flu, the likelihood everyone around them is gonna get the flu goes way up,” she said.


* MinuteClinics at CVS — Offered on walk-in basis for an insurance co-pay or $29.95. Shots available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Labor Day.

* Walgreens — Store pharmacies are offering the flu shot during regular pharmacy hours for $29.99.

* Bi-Lo — The store will offer shots beginning in mid-September at some Chattanooga stores for $30 or $27 with a Bonus Card. Clinics will be listed on


* People with a severe allergy to chicken eggs or previous severe reaction to flu vaccine

* Children under 6 months

* People with moderate to severe illness and fever

* People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome after a previous flu vaccination

Source: CDC

Although public health departments in Chattanooga and North Georgia don’t yet have their vaccine supply, flu shots are already available at Walgreens and MinuteClinics at CVS pharmacies.

Over the past five years, big-box stores, grocery store pharmacies and other retailers have aggressively marketed flu shots, Northwest Georgia Public Health spokesman Logan Boss said in an e-mail.

“From a public health perspective, this is wonderful. It helps create awareness of the flu season, makes it easier and more convenient for people to get their flu vaccinations,” he said.

This year’s vaccine protects against the H1N1, H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus, according to the CDC.

Flu vaccines take about two weeks to take effect, so family medicine specialists are recommending patients get the shot as soon as they can this season.

about Emily Bregel...

Health care reporter Emily Bregel has worked at the Chattanooga Times Free Press since July 2006. She previously covered banking and wrote for the Life section. Emily, a native of Baltimore, Md., earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University. She received a first-place award for feature writing from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists’ Golden Press Card Contest for a 2009 article about a boy with a congenital heart defect. She ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
rothwinkle3 said...

I have posted this already here before You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price by calling 877-882-4740 or check If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and believe me you are not going to loose anything!

September 3, 2010 at 2:46 a.m.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.