In what will likely be its last this year, the Cullman County Health Department will host a flu clinic next week at the St. Bernard gymnasium.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, county workers will administer flu vaccine on a first-come, first-serve basis until the 350-round stockpile is expended.

Cost is $5 per shot or free for Medicare patients.

“If you decide to come, you should probably come in the morning. We’re afraid it’s going to be over pretty quick,” said Candece Adkins, a health department representative.

According to Adkins, the upcoming clinic will mark a new record for flu shots in Cullman County.

This year, the department has already dispensed 1,800 flu shots, versus about 1,000 to 1,200 in a normal year.

“We should be over 2,000 after this week,” she said.

Adkins also said this round probably will be the last batch for this year. It comes after nearly a month of being without the vaccine.

“We’ve had a lot of people calling, so we know there’s people out there who still need vaccines, maybe a lot more,” she said.

Despite the late date, she also said that it was not too late for the flu vaccine to be effective.

“Our flu season starts in early January and runs to late February, but it only takes 10 to 15 days for the vaccine to build up antibodies,” she said.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 states reported “sporadic influenza activity” this week. Alabama was not among them.

They also reported a mortality rate that ranged from 8.5 to 10.4 percent, depending on the state and time of year.

Most of those deaths were in the elderly, people with diminished immune systems or infants.

For those who do not make it to the health department clinic, private clinics will be held by Rite Aid Pharmacies the same day.

Starting at 2 a.m., Rite Aid North, in the Cullman Shopping Center, will administer the vaccine for $25 per shot until 2 p.m. They will then move to Rite Aid South, on Second Avenue, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.

It is not clear how many doses they have.

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