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Berlin, Md. – Frequent handwashing and avoiding close contact with those who are sick certainly helps but, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent the flu is getting a flu vaccine each year.

As a service to our community’s health, Atlantic General Hospital/Health System is again providing flu shot clinics FREE to the community. Individuals must be at least 13 years old to receive the vaccine at one of the free clinics.

This year the hospital and health system has scheduled the clinics as follows:

Wednesday, October 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pocomoke Fire Department

1410 Market Street Pocomoke, Md. 21851

Saturday, October 4, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Health Fair at Ocean Pines Community Center

235 Ocean Parkway Ocean Pines, Md. 21811

Tuesday, October 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Taylor Bank (Snow Hill Branch)

108 West Market St. Snow Hill, Md. 21863

Wednesday, October 8, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Atlantic General Hospital Free Flu Clinic (Please use Emergency Room Entrance)

9733 Healthway Dr. Berlin, Md. 21811

Thursday, October 9, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Brandywine Senior Living at Fenwick Island

21111 Arrington Dr. Selbyville, Del. 19975

Wednesday, October 15, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Atlantic General Hospital Free Flu Clinic – Lobby

9733 Healthway Dr. Berlin, Md. 21811

Saturday, October 18, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Dr. Barbara Socha’s Office

96 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 103

Ocean View, Del. 19970

*ages 18 and older only

Monday, October 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Holy Savior Catholic Church

1705 Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean City, Md. 21842

Wednesday, October 22, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Townsend Medical Center

1001 Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean city, Md. 21842

Wednesday, October 22, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Atlantic General Hospital Free Flu Clinic – Lobby

9733 Healthway Dr. Berlin, Md. 21811

Influenza and complications resulting from the virus kill an estimated 20,000 people each year, according to the CDC. Although rates of influenza vaccinations have increased in recent years, health surveys indicate that less than half of the high-risk population receives a yearly vaccine.

Influenza, or flu, is a highly contagious virus spread by inhaling droplets from an infected individual’s cough or sneeze. Most symptoms emerge within 24 to 48 hours and are characterized by fever, chills, sore throat, cough and headache. Just one infected person can unknowingly pass on the flu to family members and loved ones because the virus can be transmitted 24 hours before symptoms appear.CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine.

Those at an increased risk for influenza related complications:

  • persons 65 years and older
  • nursing home residents and other chronic care facilities
  • adults and children with chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, including children with asthma
  • people with metabolic diseases such as diabetes
  • those with blood diseases like sickle cell anemia, or impaired immunity

The vaccine is usually given before the flu season. Since flu viruses mutate often, vaccines should be repeated each year. The vaccine is made from eggs. If you are allergic to eggs, consult with your health care provider

Seasonal flu vaccines will be available at your Atlantic General Health Systems’ Provider offices. Contact them today to schedule an appointment. For more information on the Atlantic General Hospital Free Flu Shot Clinics, contact Atlantic General Hospital at 410-641-9FLU (9358).