LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Tennova Healthcare  is offering free influenza vaccines on a first-come, first-served basis to the Campbell County community at the LaFollette Medical Center.

Tennova is holding a Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic in the parking lot of LaFollette Medical Center, 923 East Central Avenue, on Fri., Oct. 11, from 10 am to 2 pm.

The hospital will also offer free flu shots at the Big Creek Fall ATV Festival in downtown LaFollette on Sat., Oct. 12, from 10 am to 5 pm.

Kathy Myers (photo above) is the Chief Nursing Officer at the LaFollette Medical Center and asked this reporter, “Do you know how the Centers for Disease Control determines the severity of flu seasons?”  The woman affectionately called “The Flu Momma” said, “Australia is just coming out of its winter as we (here in the US) enter winter, and it’s based on how severe Australia’s flu season was.”

Health officials are predicting the upcoming flu season to be severe, according to U.S. News & World Report.  Last year’s flu season lasted a 21 week duration and was the longest flu season in a decade.

Flu shots will be offered to individuals ages 3 and older. Pregnant women must have a note from their physician to receive the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone 6 months and older. The risk of severe disease and complications from influenza is higher among young children, adults aged 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical conditions.

While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, during most seasons influenza activity peaks in January or later. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, Tennova Healthcare advises people to get vaccinated now so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/10/2019-6AM)