HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- As we say goodbye to summer and hello to fall, there's another season many are preparing for -- and that's flu season.
For many, the annual vaccine eliminates both sickness and worry.
And with all the recent concern over West Nile virus, whooping cough, TB and more, many are getting that flu shot out of the way this year -- before the seasonal flu season begin in early October.
At the Cabell-Huntington Health Department’s annual flu clinic, folks stayed lined up for flu shots all day long.
That's because the shots are basically free, paid for through tax levy funds. They're also convenient -- people were in and out in about three to five minutes.
And for dozens like Judy Eaves and Gerald May, its what's they do every year on flu clinic day.
Health department folks say those who need flu shots goes beyond the two leading groups -- the elderly and the very young.
Elizabeth Ayers with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department said, “The list includes many who take care of small children, school teachers and first responders; that's critical. They need to be protected.”
For doting grandmother Carol Holbrook, getting a flu shot is a family affair.
Home health-care worker Tammy Hutchinson gets the shot as a blanket safeguard for her patients and herself.
It seems flu shots are available for a price (often paid by insurance) on every other street corner. And with all the virus red flags up right now, Walgreen pharmacist Bob Abraham says he's seen these early injections coming after an earlier than usual flu season kickoff.
Health officials say it's important to get a yearly flu shot because flu viruses constantly change, and so does the annual vaccine make up.
The total for the health department's first flu clinic this season was 907 patients.
The Cabell-Huntington Health Department offers free flu shots on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you get the vaccine as soon as it's available. That’s because you can get the flu as early as September or October.