Columbia County already is in the unexpected throes of campaign season, with unplanned elections coming up in two weeks for County Commission and Grovetown City Council. And flu season isnt far away.
Unfortunately, silly season is always with us. That message came through loud and clear last week when local health department officials, at the beginning of a well-planned series of flu-shot clinics, had to confront a message warning its e-mail recipients that the vaccine is contaminated.
On top of that, theres a small but noisy contingent of faith-healers, homeopaths and the like who claim flu vaccines, rather than keeping us well, actually make people sick and can even lead to Alzheimers disease.
The good news is that in a community like ours with so many medical professionals, the value of flu shots isnt a thing of urban legends, but a matter of necessity.
That necessity hit home early this year with the huge number of school absences brought on by a widespread influenza epidemic. As much as a quarter of the pupil populations of some schools were forced t stay home, interrupting not just regular classes but high-stakes standardized tests.
This school year should be different, thanks to a partnership between the health department and Columbia Countys schools. The first of four flu-shot clinics last week brought out unprecedented numbers - well over 200 - of recipients to Greenbrier Middle School. Three additional clinics will take place over the next two weeks, along with two others at Harlem and Grovetown city halls.
The shots are just $15, and anyone can show up for the quick stick. And everyone should; if the folks who spread nutty theories and junk science want to get sick, let them stay away from the rest of us.
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