MILTON —The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County has announced that flu shots are available for area residents.

Vaccine for children ages 6 months through 18 years old will be available at no fee through the Vaccines for Children Program. Cost is $33 for adults. Medicare will cover the cost of the vaccine for eligible adults age 65 and older.

The vaccine will be available by appointment at the health department's locations in Milton and Midway.

"The flu vaccine is one of the safest and easiest ways to help prevent the flu. The health department recommends vaccinating children early, since it takes approximately two weeks for the body to develop immunity to the disease and provide maximum protection," an FDOH media release stated.

Take the following precautions to help prevent flu and flu-like illnesses:

•Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

•When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue, then throw the tissue away, or cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve. Avoid touching your face.

•If you do become ill with flu-like symptoms, stay home until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medicine, and keep children home from school or day care if they are sick.

Call 850-983-5200 and select Option 3 to schedule an appointment or for more information.