ALACHUA COUNTY - Officials at the Florida Department of Health - Alachua County Health Department wish to reinforce that there still is time to combat influenza through vaccination. While the influenza numbers in the area have been low, the season is very early and runs through April. In addition, we are now going to experience two major influxes of persons that may be infected: 1) the seasonal travel of residents and students alike to areas of the country or the world where influenza rates may be higher; and 2) the influx of winter residents that may be stopping in Gainesville on their way to other areas of the state.
Health Department officials have supplies of both the injectable vaccine as well as the nasal spray for purchase. Those with Medicare Part B can present their card and any supplemental insurance they may have and the Health Department will bill for the service. For all others, the cost is $20 for either vaccination. Health Director Tom Belcuore advised, "Each year in the U.S., Influenza is associated with approximately 36,000 deaths and causes hospitalizations of up to three times that number. Vaccination against this disease has been shown to be the most cost effective way of reducing both morbidity and mortality."
The Health Department can provide vaccination at their sites in Alachua (15530 NW US Hwy 441), High Springs (245 NW 2nd St.), and the main facility in Gainesville (224 SE 24th St.). Appointments are required at the Alachua and High Spring sites, but walk-ins can be accommodated at the Gainesville site. The Gainesville site hours are 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For further information, please call (352) 334-7950 for Gainesville; (386) 462-2542 for Alachua; and (386) 454-2421 for High Springs.
Media inquiries should be directed to Tom Belcuore at (352) 334-8892.