You’ve most likely heard in the news that this flu season is considered to be an epidemic. If you haven’t been sick yourself, chances are that someone you know has been stricken with the bug, which leaves you with a sudden onset of symptoms accompanied by a fever. The best defense is getting a flu shot, and there are several places in Wichita Falls that you can turn to.

The Wichita Falls/Wichita County Public Health District offers vaccines each weekday from 8:00am – 4:30pm. Teressa Stephenson of the Health District says that they also offer a late vaccine clinic each month for those people who aren’t able to make it earlier in the day. Their next clinic is January 22nd from 8:00am – 6:30pm. If you want to know more about fees and which vaccinations are available, you can call them at 940-761-7800. She also reminds us that the flu shot can take up to two weeks to go into effect, so don’t wait. The Wichita County Public Health District is located at 1700 Third Street. They offer vaccinations to all ages, and Stephenson encourages anyone over the age of six months to get their flu shot.

There are also a number of pharmacies and private physicians who will administer the flu shot. Each location has different times they offer the vaccine, so call ahead for information on fees and the ages they’ll vaccinate. A number of calls revealed that Albertson's and Market Street pharmacies still have the shots ready to go, but other places around town are sold out. Plan ahead before going in.

Despite what you may have heard, getting the flu shot won’t give you the flu. Additionally, the shot shouldn’t be confused with preventing the stomach flu, which you could still get even though you’re vaccinated. The flu shot is intended to stop the spread of influenza. It’s also never too late to get your flu shot, so get yourself in now before you end up in bed with a fever.

If you have questions about the flu shot, the CDC has a wealth of information online that will guide you through the process.

In the meantime, there are precautions you can take to help prevent the spread of the flu. The top three suggestions are to wash your hands often, cover your face when coughing or sneezing, and stay home if you’re sick. Your friends and colleagues will thank you for it.

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