It’s not too late to get a flu shot with flu season near

Barbara Hootman

It isn’t too late to get a flu shot and prevent the virus from getting to you. andit’s a good thing, because it takes about two weeks for the vaccine’s antibodies to develop in the body to provide protection.

Medical offices in the Swannanoa Valley are not reporting flu cases yet.

Each year flu causes more than 200,000 hospitalizations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu can be serious and even deadly. Doctors recommend individuals 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. The vaccine wears off over the course of a year, so it is important to get one prior to every flu season.

Flu shots are available at some doctor offices, drug stores and even a few grocery stores. Flu shots are also available at the Health and Human Services Immunization Clinic located at 53 South French Broad Ave. in Asheville. No appointment is needed. Call the flu hotline for more information at 250-6400.

Drew Parker at HealthRidge Pharmacy in Black Mountain says flu vaccine time is winding down.

“We have about 10 doses of the vaccine left,” he said. “All you have to do is walk in with no prior appointment and get the shot. Bring your insurance card, or you have to pay for the vaccine. Also, no pharmacy can give a flu shot to anyone under the age of 14 years.”

HealthRidge Pharmacy, 3130 Old U.S. 70, is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday including News Year’s Eve day. The pharmacy is closed on New Year’s Day.

Rite Aid Pharmacy, 540 N.C. 9, Black Mountain, has flu vaccine and is open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, and no prior appointment is necessary. Bring your insurance card.

CVS in Black Mountain at 425 W. State St. has flu vaccine. The pharmacy is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. on New Year’s Day and resumes normal hours the following Monday (8 a.m –10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Sunday). Bring your insurance card or pay $31.99 for the vaccine.

Sunshine Pharmacy, 206 E. State St., Black Mountain has a limited supply of flu vaccine. Walk-ins are welcome. Bring your insurance card (go on Facebook to “like” the pharmacy and get a discount. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. It is closed New Year’s Day.