The new flu season is upon us and positive COVID-19 cases have been slowly increasing in the state of Alabama. Some symptoms of the flu and the coronavirus are very similar, which could make it challenging to distinguish between the two. Medical providers across the country are urging people to get a flu shot.

“Here in Jackson County we have not yet experienced the true overlap of the flu and COVID-19 because the coronavirus came on the scene just as our traditional flu season was ending earlier this year. We want to encourage everyone to get a flu shot this year to help minimize possible complications of having both at the same time,” said Dr. Lonnie Albin, chief medical officer at Highlands Medical Center. “By getting a flu shot it can also help minimize the challenge of confusing the two conditions.”

A new line for administering flu shots to those age 12+ is being added to the HMC operated drive- thru site at Veterans Fairground. “Flu shots will be given to patients in their vehicle, making this a quick and easy way to get vaccinated this year, especially for the elderly and disabled population in our community,” said Albin.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 19, flu shots will be offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Veterans Fairgrounds while supplies last. Those seeking a flu shot should enter the fairgrounds at the COVID screening site entrance. Once inside the gates, those getting a flu shot only will be directed to a separate line to be given the vaccine and will not be mixed with those patients being screened and tested for COVID. Most insurance is accepted. Self-pay price is $25.

Patients coming to the site for COVID-19 screening and testing are also encouraged to get a flu shot while being screened.

The drive-thru entry is located at the fairgrounds gate across from Veterans Memorial Park. Traffic will flow in through the side gate of the fairgrounds, cars will be directed to the flu shot only line or COVID screening line and exit at the gate near Collins Intermediate School.

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