Hickory – Seasonal influenza is an illness that can cause serious health complications, including death. The best defense against the flu is vaccination, which is why Catawba County Public Health encourages individuals to visit their medical provider for a flu shot before flu season arrives.

Catawba County Public Health is offering flu shots to the public during two flu vaccine events at the health department, located at 3070 11th Ave. Drive SE in Hickory. Flu shots will be available for people ages 3 and up without an appointment on October 18 and 19 from 8am to 11:30am and 1pm to 4:30pm.

Vaccinations will be available by walk-in for individuals age 3 and older. Appointments for infants ages 6-35 months can be made by calling (828) 695-5881.

Vaccination appointments may be made for the flu shot beginning October 22.

The seasonal flu shot costs $25 for individuals age 3 and older and $25 for children ages 6-35 months. For people 65 and older, the high-dose flu shot is available for $46. Accepted forms of payment include cash, check, debit/credit, Medicare Part B (only), NC Medicaid, and NC HealthChoice. Medicare Advantage and other insurance plans will not be accepted; however, individuals may pay and then file with their insurers for possible reimbursement.

“Flu can be a severe and sometimes deadly illness and should be taken seriously,” said Catawba County Health Director Doug Urland. “With flu shots now widely available in our community, we urge everyone to best protect themselves and their loved ones from this easily spread illness by obtaining a flu shot.”

The CDC recommends anyone 6 months or older get the flu vaccine. The vaccination is highly recommended for individuals who are at a higher risk for flu related complications, including the following:

Anyone with underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or chronic lung disease, Pregnant women, People 65 years or older, Caregivers, especially those individuals caring for infants or people with health complications.

Catawba County Public Health promotes and protects the health of all Catawba County residents through preventive services, innovative partnerships, and community health improvement initiatives.

For more information, call (828) 695-5800 or visit website at www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth.