Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and take a shot at avoiding seasonal flu.
Health departments, retail pharmacies and doctors' offices throughout the region have started offering seasonal influenza vaccines.
Plans still are being developed for distributing vaccines for the H1NI influenza after supplies become available, likely next month. The seasonal flu shot isn't expected to offer protection against the new strain, also known as swine flu.
Flu cases appear to be increasing in the region, according to a weekly influenza surveillance report from the Akron Health Department.
At least one influenza hospitalization was confirmed in Summit County from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5.
A Hudson high school student has been diagnosed with H1N1 (swine flu), according to the Hudson school district, which notified parents on Monday about the diagnosis.
The student is feeling better, according to the district.
Public health officials are recommending people get their seasonal flu shots now.
Health departments usually charge for vaccines but typically won't turn anyone away for inability to pay.
The Akron Health Department has scheduled two flu shot clinics:
• Monday: 1-4 p.m. at the Akron Health Department-Morley Health Center Auditorium, 177 S. Broadway. Parking is available at the Morley Parking Deck.
• Oct. 3: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Healthy Baby Fair and Expo in the John S. Knight Convention Center, 77 E. Mill St.
Cost is $15.
More clinics will be offered in the coming weeks. For updates, call the Akron Health Department flu hot line at 330-375-2876.
The Summit County Health District also is holding flu shot clinics this month throughout the county.
The cost is $25.
Upcoming clinics include:
• Today: 3-6 p.m. at Norton Community Center, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive.
• Monday: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Richfield Fire Station, 4410 W. Streetsboro Road.
• Tuesday: 3-6 p.m. at Fairlawn Community Center, 3486 S. Smith Road.
• Sept. 23: 2-6 p.m. at Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, 3512 Darrow Road, Stow.
• Sept. 24: 2-6 p.m. at The Chapel-Green campus, 1800 Raber Road,
• Sept. 30: 2:30-5:30 p.m. at Twinsburg High School, 10084 Ravenna Road.
In addition, the agency will offer flu shots at area polling places from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 3, through the national Vote-N-Vax program.
Participating voting sites include: Quirk Cultural Center, Cuyahoga Falls; Fairlawn Community Center; Manchester United Methodist Church, New Franklin; Young School, Springfield Township; Tallmadge First Congregational Church; and Twinsburg Parks and Recreation Community Center.
Flu vaccines also are available by appointment. Call 330-926-5681.
The Barberton Health District will be offering flu shots when it receives its vaccine supply. Call 330-745-6067 for updates.
Doctors offices and local retail pharmacies throughout the region also are offering seasonal flu shots.
For a list searchable by zip code or city of many of the flu clinics at area stores, visit http://www.flucliniclocator.org.
Along with getting the vaccine, public health experts remind people to lower their risk of contracting or flu shot by washing their hands frequently, covering their coughs and staying home when ill.