Free Flu Shots Kick Off the Fall

By Samantha Saracino | 

You wouldn't believe the crowd at the drive-thru flu clinic in Paintsville. It happened at the Citizens Bank. The clinic didn't even start until 5 p.m., but people began lining up at 4:30 just to make sure they'd be one of the two hundred and fifty who would get a shot.

People were rolling down their windows and rolling up their sleeves to prepare for flu season.

"We want our community to be well protected so we thought what better way to kick off the fall and flu season then to start giving the shots," said Connie Meek, from the Johnson County Health Department.

The process was simple.

"You just pull up in your car and one of our ladies from the health department will have you fill out a health form, that's registration and then you'll move on up to a table where a nurse will actually administer the vaccine. Then you're on your way," Meek explained.

These shots protect people from 3 strands of the flu, including H1N1. They were also free and available to anyone.

"It's great because our insurance don't cover flu shots so when we do get flu shots I usually have to pay quite a bit," said Robin Smith, a flu shot recipient and mother of 4 kids.

Most people say they've gotten the flu shot before and it was worth it.

"It helped me a bunch. I didn't get sick at all," said Carol Eversole.

"I haven't had the flu in years so it must be working," Carolyn May said.

Officials say the best way to avoid getting the flu this season is by getting the flu shot, but the second best way is by keeping your hands clean.

"Just the simple thing to wash your hands. Don't just stick them under the water, actually use soap and wash them in warm water. Consistently," Meek said.

The health department recommends that everyone starting at the age of 6 months get their flu shot to prevent getting sick this season. If you missed out on getting a flu shot in Paintsville, the Johnson County health department will be accepting appointments starting on Monday, but there is a charge for them. You can also get the shots from your doctor or at some local pharmacies.

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