Flu season is in full swing, and in Young County, there are a number of different businesses and health services providing flu shots.

Graham Regional Medical Center Director of Infection Prevention and Control Diann Grissom said that flu season officially began on October 1, and while there were initially more early cases in August and September in Young County than last year, the rates have leveled off, and she's seen roughly the same amount of cases this year compared to 2012 despite the fact that overall cases for the state of Texas have increased from last year.

“We continue to see more cases of influenza like illnesses and actual flu cases, but there are just small clusters and no true outbreaks to date,” Grissom explained. “This could change quickly, but so far the activity is low as it usually is at this time of the year. At the end of the week we should start seeing detailed regional reports through surveillance and report feedbacks from the state.”

Grissom said that there have been some exciting new advances in vaccines this year that benefit patients with certain allergies.

“There are now egg free and pork free vaccines, so people that used to be allergic to the vaccine because of an egg or pork allergy can now ask for that,” she said.

Grissom added that while GRMC only offers vaccines for employees, their direct family members living in the same residence and auxiliary members such as hospital volunteers, there are many options for Graham residents, and even visitors to get the shots.

Young County Family Clinic Director Diane Smith said that while her clinic has been offering vaccines for over a week, perhaps information about their vaccine program hasn't yet spread.

“Actually we haven't had very many inquiries last week,” she said. “So I don't know if word's gotten out that we have them yet.”

Smith said that her clinic typically gets busy around mid-October, adding that if a person has a private physician, then that is who should administer the vaccine. But not all people who aren't clients of theirs are redirected.

“If they're new to town or from out of town and just visiting, then we will accept them.” Vaccines at the Young County Family Clinic are $25 for insured patients 19-years-old and over, and patients with Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP are all free.

Read the full story in the Wednesday edition of the Graham Leader