The Tennessee Department of Health is urging all Tennesseans who have not yet received a flu shot to get one as soon as possible, as seasonal influenza cases increase across the state.
Tennessee county health departments are holding special free “Fight Flu TN” flu vaccine events in every county on Nov. 19 to increase the number of people vaccinated across Tennessee.
"It’s important for everyone in Tennessee to get a flu vaccine, as we’ve seen an increase in seasonal flu activity in Tennessee in recent weeks and expect it to be around for many more,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said in a news release. “Vaccination is still the best protection we have against this serious and potentially deadly illness.”
No appointments are needed to receive a flu shot during these events but event hours and details will vary from county to county.
Williamson County has three flu vaccination sites; the Williamson County Administrative Complex in Franklin from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the Williamson County Heath Department in Fairview from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and the Longview Recreational Center in Spring Hill from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
TDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone ages six months and older, adding that it’s especially important for pregnant women to get flu shots to protect themselves and their unborn children, as flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women.
Most people with the flu will experience symptoms such as fever, cough, congestion and body aches, and will recover on their own after about a week, however, infants, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions are at highest risk of severe complications from the flu.
The flu virus is highly contagious, so it’s important for people who are sick to stay home and avoid contact with others until their symptoms have resolved to help prevent further spread of the illness.
This includes staying away from work, school and other public places while ill, washing hands and disinfecting workplace and living spaces and using "respiratory etiquette” by coughing into your elbow or a tissue instead of your hands.