The Santa Rosa County Health Department now has seasonal flu vaccine available for all adults and children over four years of age for a fee of $20.

Medicare will cover the cost of the vaccine for those who are eligible.

The vaccine is also offered free of charge for children ages six months to 18 years through the Vaccines for Children Program.

Quantities of the free vaccine are limited, so parents should call the health departments immunization clinic at 983-5200 for information on vaccine availability.

The flu shot is recommended for everyone six months and older and its one of the best things people can do to help protect themselves and their families from the flu, said Theresa Fretwell, LPN, immunization nurse with the Santa Rosa County Health Department. "It's safe, and you won't get sick by taking the flu shot, because it doesn't contain live flu virus."

Other ways to reduce the risk of getting or spreading the flu include:
Washing hands frequently using soap and warm water. Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, and discard the tissue after use, or cough or sneeze into a sleeve.
Stay home with a cough, fever or other flu like symptoms, and until symptom free without the use of fever reducing medication for 24-48 hours.

Seasonal flu shots are available at the health department's three clinic locations in Milton, Midway, and Jay. For clinic hours, visit the Santa Rosa County Health Department website at: or call 850-983-5200.