Free flu clinic set today

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 27, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

A walk-in flu immunization clinic will be held in the Dallas County Health Department’s community room today from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. The clinic is free to the public.

“Anyone can come without any appointment and we encourage people to come,” said Ashvin Parikh, assistant area administrator for the Alabama Department of Public Health.

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This is the second free countywide flu clinic the health department has hosted this month. On Nov. 16, 1,862 flu shots were distributed during a walk-in and drive-thru clinic at Northside Baptist Church in Selma.

There were approximately 2,500 flu shots on hand.

The health department, the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and the Selma Police Department also practiced its emergency protocols in the event of a flu pandemic during the clinic.

Parikh said the health department has a full supply of the flu vaccine to combat the 2006 flu season, which peaks from November to March in Alabama. There are currently no reported flu cases in Dallas County.

Parikh said there’s more than enough flu shots to go around.

“There’s not a shortage,” he said. “We have enough. If 2,000 people come there’s no problem.”

According to an Associated Press report, a record 110 million to 115 million flu shots are expected to be accessible this year and millions are likely to be discarded at the end of the flu season.

The shots aren’t stored for future use because the vaccine is produced fresh before each season to match the strains of the flu virus expected to be most widespread.

For those who can’t make today’s clinic, Parikh said another is set for next Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the health department from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information, call (334) 874-2550.