NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is encouraging all Tennesseans over the age of 6 months to receive this year’s flu vaccine.

Vaccinations for flu were free beginning on Wednesday at all local health departments in the state for Fight Flu ‘22.

“Getting a flu shot is the most important thing we can all do to help prevent the flu and keep ourselves, loved ones and everyone around us healthy,’’ said TDH Commissioner Morgan McDonald. ‘’We know flu vaccines are safe, effective, and protect against the most common types of flu circulating, so I urge everyone eligible to receive a flu shot to do so.’’

No appointments are needed to receive a free flu vaccine during Fight Flu ‘22. Individuals can find the site closest to them and the hours of operation at by selecting the “Find a Flu Shot Near You” icon. The flu vaccine will continue to be free at Tennessee’s county health departments after Wednesday’s Fight Flu ’22 kickoff event.

The flu virus is highly contagious, and pregnant women, infants, the elderly, and people with certain medical conditions are at the highest risk of severe complications from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that up to 7.5 million illnesses, 400,000 hospitalizations, and 22,000 deaths could be prevented every year if more people chose to get the flu vaccine.

To prevent the spread of the flu virus to others, individuals are encouraged to follow precautions such as proper hygiene and handwashing, cover their coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your elbow, and to stay at home if they are sick.

Fight Flu ‘22 also serves as a statewide preparedness and response exercise where the TDH local public health teams practice their emergency plans to vaccinate communities during a pandemic. This is the fifth consecutive year for the Fight Flu TN event as TDH works to protect as many Tennesseans as possible against influenza.

— Submitted

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