Flu shots available

As flu season approaches, federal officials assured that there would be plenty of flu vaccine in the next few weeks.

Chiron Corporation, which was barred last year from selling flu vaccine, has been allowed to resume sales this year, according to the Associated Press, and should boost the nation's supply of vaccine to 91 million doses.

However, flu shots were suppose to be reserved for the elderly, babies and people with asthma and others at high-risk until Oct. 24. After that, the shots would be available to anyone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the CDC was getting complaints that vaccine shipments to some health departments and doctor's offices were being delayed.

However, Gwen Mills, director of public health services for Comal County, said Friday that the department received its allotment of vaccine and that senior citizens, ages 60 and older, would be able to get their flu shots at the following locations and times:

Friday, Nov. 4, at the Comal County Health Department satellite office at 30450 Cougar Bend in Bulverde from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Friday, Oct. 21, at the Canyon Lake Recreation Center located at the Dam Access Road from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 28, at the Senior Citizen Center in New Braunfels at 655 Landa Street from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Seniors should bring a driver's license or voter registration card for proof of residency in New Braunfels or Comal County.

Assignment will be accepted for Medicare Part B, Tri-Care for Life and for Railroad Retirement.

Cost will be $11 for seniors with Secure Horizons, Tri-Care or any other program.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and at time can lead to death.

The best way to avoid this illness is by getting a flu vaccination each fall.

Every year in the United States, 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and about 36,000 people die from the flu each year.

For information, call the Comal County Health Department at (830) 608-2015.

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