This year's deadly flu season has people all over Middle Tennessee scrambling to get a flu shot. In some places, including Nashville, health officials are answering the call by offering a free shot.
"When we encourage people to get the shot, we don't want to have a barrier - especially cost being a barrier," said Brian Todd, a spokesman for the Metro Health Department.
Metro health officials say the death last week of 11-year-old Savannah Hyden, from Hendersonville, got a lot of people's attention and drove up a desire to get that shot right now in the very peak of flu season.
It also helps that it's clear this year's flu shot is a perfect match to fight the predominant strain of influenza.
"The good news, where a lot of flu has been confirmed, they've been able to identity what strain it is - and that's the H1N1 strain that a lot of people heard about a few years ago. The good news is that's the strain in the flu shot," Todd said.
In Nashville, the free flu shots are available for Davidson County residents on a walk-in basis at the following locations from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday:
East Health Center, 1015 East Trinity Lane
Lentz Health Center, 311 23rd Ave. North
Woodbine Health Center, 224 Oriel Ave.
The St. Thomas Mobile Health Unit is working with the Rutherford County Health Department to offer free flu shots to residents of Rutherford County.
The Murfreesboro office is located at 100 West Burton St., and the Smyrna office is at 108 David Collins Dr.
For more information, call 898-7880.
The flu shot is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months.
Health experts say the flu shot is especially important for those with a high risk of serious illness or death from the flu, including the elderly, pregnant women and young children.
Many businesses with pharmacies, including Walgreens and Kroger stores, are offering flu shots as well but for a price. Some may be covered by health insurance, and they ask you to call ahead to either schedule an appointment or check that your store has the vaccine on hand.
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