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October 18, 2011

For More Information Contact

  • G. Douglas Larsen, M.D., director, Central Shenandoah Health District, 540-332-7830
  • Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, 540-381-7100, x151; 540-580-2960


(STAUNTON, Va.) –Seasonal flu vaccine is available and being offered by appointment only in each health department within the Central Shenandoah Health District. The fee for the vaccine is $30 per dose and is covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

“Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially severe complications,” said Douglas Larsen, M.D., director of the Central Shenandoah Health District. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health recommend that all persons age six months and older be vaccinated annually. The vaccine takes full effect within two weeks and its benefits last for up to a year.”

Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is a serious disease caused by the influenza virus that affects the respiratory tract. It is highly contagious and generally spreads from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can be transmitted even before flu-like symptoms appear. A person usually becomes sick one to three days following exposure to the virus. Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue.

Each year in the U.S. approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized due to flu illness, and flu-related deaths range from 3,000 to 49,000 each year, averaging 24,000 per year over the last three decades.

To minimize your risk of contracting or transmitting the flu, follow these simple steps:

  • Get vaccinated;
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly (20 seconds minimum);
  • Cover your cough, either by using a disposable tissue or coughing into your sleeve, not your hand; and
  • Stay at home when you are sick.

With the 2011-2012 flu season now under way, be sure to call your local health department today to schedule an appointment:

  • Augusta-Staunton Health Department 540-332-7830
  • Bath County Health Department 540-839-7246
  • Buena Vista Health Department 540-261-2149
  • Harrisonburg-Rockingham Health Department 540-574-5100
  • Highland County Health Department 540-468-2270
  • Lexington-Rockbridge Health Department 540-463-3185
  • Waynesboro-Augusta Health Department 540-949-0137

For more information, visit or call the Central Shenandoah Health District at 540-332-7830.

Last Updated: 10-19-2011

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