The Bartow County Health Department will offer free flu shots, on a walk-in basis while supply lasts, Thursday, October 3, 2013, from 9 AM until 5:30 PM, at the Cartersville Civic Center located next to the library at 435 W. Main St., Cartersville. The flu shots are available to anyone six months or older.  Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

 According to Bartow County Health Department Nurse Manager, Cathy Green, “this is the only day this year for Bartow County residents to receive the flu shot at no charge.  We are also offering flu immunizations at the health department, beginning September 24, on an appointment basis  —  for our standard fees.”

 Green also noted that health department staff will soon begin offering flu immunizations in city, county and private schools and advised parents to be looking for information packages contain consent forms to be signed and returned with their child.  

 The free flu-shot clinic will serve as an emergency-preparedness training exercise for Bartow County public health.  According to Northwest Georgia Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Shaun Brand, “we plan and train year round, along with our community partners in emergency management, public safety and other disciplines, to administer large quantities of medicine to a large number of people, conceivably our entire ten-county population, very quickly and efficiently.  The free flu-shot clinic will improve our readiness.”

 Every person receiving a free flu shot must read an information sheet and sign a consent form.  “For your convenience, you can access and print the Influenza Vaccine Information Sheet that everyone must read before receiving a flu shot and the 2013-14 Influenza Vaccine Consent Form at the Northwest Georgia Public Health website: Both are available in English and Spanish. 

 “Complete and bring these forms with you to the Cartersville Civic Center or obtain the forms and complete them onsite. Should you have any questions or concerns, you should ask and feel your questions have been addressed satisfactorily before receiving the flu shot,” Green said.   

According to Green the health department will have twelve stations set up to make it quick and easy for you to get a flu shot.  “We only have 2000 free flu shots, so come early so you do not miss this opportunity,” Green advised.

 “We will also provide special services to accommodate disabled individuals or those who have difficulty walking.    Inform one of

the staff as you enter the Cartersville Civic Center that special services are needed. Complete a form for the individual, and we will go to the vehicle to let them sign their consent and give the shot.  This person cannot be the driver of the vehicle.”

 For those not able to take advantage of the October 3 opportunity for a free flu shot, the health department will begin offering flu immunizations  —  for a fee  —  on Tuesday, September 24, at the health department, 100 Zena Drive SE.  Cost of the vaccine is $25.00 for a trivalent flu shot, which protects against three different flu strains, and $35.00 for quadrivalent flu shot or quadrivalent Flumist nasal spray, both of which protect against four different flu strains. 

 The health department will accept cash, debit and credit cards along with Medicaid, Medicare, State Employee United Healthcare and Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield Open Access, Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO, Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield Out-of-State PPO, Blue Choice PPO and Aetna as forms of payments.

 For more information, call the Bartow County Health Department at 770-382-1920.