The Monroe County Health Department has received its first shipments of flu vaccine. Residents may now come to the health department in Paris to receive immunizations.

The Monroe County Health Department has received its first shipments of flu vaccine. Residents may now come to the health department in Paris to receive immunizations.

The department staff will hold special flu clinics around the county to better serve all residents. A nurse will be at the Paris Senior Center on Fridays, beginning Sept. 15, from 11 a.m. until noon; a nurse will be at the Madison Library on Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.; and a nurse will be at the Monroe City Senior Center on Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Routine clinic hours at the health department are every Monday, from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m., and routine clinic hours at the Monroe City Nutrition Center are every Thursday through October, from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. Patrons may come to the health department for a flu shot at any time, but should call first to make sure a nurse is available.

Monroe County Health Department Director Paula Delaney says getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

She says veryone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated later is OK. Vaccination should continue throughout the flu season, even in January or later. Some children who have received flu vaccine previously and children who have only received one dose in their lifetime, may need two doses of flu vaccine. Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months of age, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu. Also, studies have shown that getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy can protect the baby after birth for several months.

In addition to getting vaccinated, she says take everyday preventive actions such as taying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.

For further information, call the Monroe County Health Department at (660) 327-4653.