Don’t Skip Your Flu Shot

Sep 16, 2023 | 0 comments

The Mechanics of Your Flu Shot: A Brief Overview

You may wonder, “How does the flu shot work?” The influenza vaccine primes your immune system to recognize and battle the flu virus effectively. Upon vaccination, your body generates antibodies specifically designed to combat the influenza virus strains prevalent in any given year. This means that even if you contract the flu, the severity and duration of your illness are often significantly reduced.

The Real Costs of Skipping Your Flu Shot

The flu isn’t merely a glorified cold; it’s a contagious disease that can cause severe health complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or even hospitalization. For vulnerable populations, including young children, elderly individuals, and those with chronic health conditions, the risks are even higher. Consequently, when you get your flu shot, you’re protecting yourself and contributing to broader community health by fostering herd immunity.

The Effectiveness Equation: Is the Flu Shot Worth It?

One question that often arises is, “How effective is the flu shot?” According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a flu vaccine that aligns well with circulating viral strains can decrease your risk of becoming ill by about 40% to 60%. In years when the vaccine is less well-matched, it still offers significant benefits, such as reducing the severity of illness and lowering the risk of complications.

Debunking Myths: Side Effects and Misconceptions

Another frequent concern is, “What side effects could I experience?” It’s worth noting that most individuals face minimal side effects—usually just some soreness at the injection site or a brief low-grade fever. These minor inconveniences pale compared to the flu’s severe symptoms and potential complications.

Walk-In Flu Shots at Urgent Care of Oconee

Did you know you can get a flu shot without an appointment at any Urgent Care of Oconee location in Athens, Watkinsville, or Madison? Even better, most insurance plans will cover the flu vaccine cost, making affordability a non-issue.

Don’t Delay Your Protection

So, are you considering skipping your flu shot this year? We urge you to think again. A flu shot is a simple yet potent tool to maintain your health this flu season. With readily accessible locations and insurance plans covering the costs, Urgent Care of Oconee has made your path to flu prevention more accessible than ever.

If you are still teetering on the edge of a decision, remember that we’re here to provide answers. Your health and well-being are our priority, and an informed community is healthier.

Drop in today for your flu shot at any of our three locations!

Contact Us Today

    Harry Wingate IV

    X-Ray Technician

    Harry Wingate IV is a Georgia native, graduating from North Oconee High School in 2007. He served in the Army National Guard for six years and graduated in 2015 from the Athens Technical College Radiography program. Harry loves watching the Georgia Bulldogs with family and friends.

    Vanessa Cartwright

    Front Desk

    Vanessa is from Canton, Georgia. She has lived in Athens for the past eleven years. She is working in her degree in Biology from the University of Georgia. She has six years of experience in customer service. Vanessa loves spending time with her family and spending time outdoors with her two dogs.


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    Natalie Moseley


    Natalie is from Springfield, MO, however, she has lived all over the world, including Africa. Natalie made Georgia her home 20 years ago. She earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia College and State University and her Physician Assistant Master’s Degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Natalie previously worked in Orthopedic Surgery Primary Care and Emergency Medicine. Her interests include music, reading, hiking, camping and traveling. Natalie is an avid gardener. She volunteers her time with ACC-SANE, which is an organization that specializes in helping victims of sexual assault.

    Michelle Fletcher

    Front Desk

    Michelle is a Georgia native from McDonough. Michelle began her career as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines before working part time and raising her children. She has served our community through teaching at First Presbyterian Preschool and volunteering at her church and in her children's school.

    Kara Whyte

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    Kara Whyte is a Physician Assistant certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) since 1994. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wagner College, while concurrently earning her certificate of completion from Bayley Seton Hospital PA program in Staten Island, New York. For the past 25 years, Kara has worked in Family Practice, College Health, Interventional Radiology and Neurosurgery prior to joining the Urgent Care of Oconee. She was raised in Connecticut, went to school in New York and has happily spent her entire career in the south. Kara enjoys time laughing with her husband Brad as they venture into life with two children in college.


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    Joe Hwang


    Joe grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Clarinet Performance. Joe earned a Master of Education in Physical Activity and Health. While attending Auburn University, he met his wife, Sarah. Joe worked in three different hospital systems as a medical laboratory scientist, with a focus on hematology and blood banking. In 2016 he moved to Atlanta to attend Mercer University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Public Health and Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies and received the Distinguished Graduate Award for his PA cohort. Joe's current hobby is powerlifting, and he holds over a dozen national records and four world records. His best lift is a 584lb deadlift at 163lb body weight. Joe is a prolific board gamer, with Settlers of Catan and chess intramural championships under his belt. He is also undefeated (3-0) in university talent shows. His favorite book series is the Color series by Ted Dekker. Joe enjoys anything to do with Winshape Camps, mission trips, and working with the children’s ministry at his local church.


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    Crystal Cotrell


    Crystal received her Masters Degree of Physician Assistant from Medical College of Georgia. Prior to MCG, she graduated from Lagrange College in Biology as a collegiate athlete playing softball. Crystal's areas of interest are orthopedics and family medicine. She has been practicing medicine for over 14 years. Crystal loves practicing medicine and helping others. She is married to Steve Cotrell, Commerce High School Baseball coach, and they have 4 children. They love to travel and camp as a family.

    Chad Hull

    Chief Operating Officer

    Chad is originally from the Midwest. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Shorter College in Music. Chad went on to earn a Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Prior to working at the Urgent Care of Oconee, he spent time in nephrology and oral surgery and general dentistry. He moved to Athens seven years ago from metro Atlanta, where he lived for nearly 20 years. Chad main interests are reading and the culture of literary as well as cooking.

    Ashley Milligan

    Front Desk

    Ashley is from Madison, Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She has several years of experience in customer service. Ashley enjoys traveling, hiking, and loving on her dogs in her spare time.

    John Campbell


    John received his master degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Emory University in Atlanta. John became interested in Sports Medicine after suffering a collegiate sports ending knee injury and decided to enter the field of sports medicine. While serving as an athletic trainer for the University of Central Missouri, John graduated with honors receiving a bachelor's degree in fitness/wellness and a masters degree in Sports and Exercise Science. While at Central, he was the head graduate assistant athletic trainer for baseball, wrestling and volleyball and assisted other trainers in football, basketball, track and sports rehabilitation. While at Emory, John was able to work in many different facets of medicine including emergency medicine, pediatrics and orthopedics. John currently volunteers his services to the ARC Disaster Services to help boost efforts to help individuals and families in need of assistance during difficult and trying times. He is a member of the Air National Guard training with a search and rescue medical group in Alabama. John’s areas of interest include family medicine, sports medicine, orthopedic trauma and pediatric care. He and his wife, Ivy, are parents of 2 children, a boy and a girl.

    Jeff Chambers


    Jeff is a Rome, Georgia native who has lived in Oconee area for over 25 years. Jeff is a 1991 graduate of the University of Georgia with a BSeD in Exercise Science/Sports Medicine, a 1998 graduate of the University of Georgia Graduate School with a MeD in Health Promotion, and a 2000 graduate of the Emory University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program with an MMSC. Jeff has worked in both emergency medicine and orthopedics over the past 17 years and holds board certifications in primary care medicine and a certificate of added qualification in general surgery and orthopedic surgery. Jeff’s experience prior to physician assistant school included serving as an athletic trainer for the University of Georgia, the Minnesota Twins and numerous years with local high school athletic teams. Jeff currently serves as a Lt. Col. in the United States Air Force Air National Guard with the 187th Fighter Wing and has extensive medical training in trauma as the executive officer of the Alabama Air National Guard’s CERFP disaster team. Jeff and his wife Jennifer have three boys in the Oconee school system and are proud to be part of the Oconee community.

    Dr. Wingate

    Harry “Tripp” Wingate, MD, FACEP

    Dr. Wingate is a Georgia native who has been a member of the Oconee community for a number of years. Dr. Wingate is a 1984 cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a 1988 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine. Dr. Wingate is a 1990 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia Family Practice Residency Program and holds board certifications in both Family Practice and Emergency Medicine. Dr. Wingate has over 25 years of experience in emergency medicine and family practice and is the founder and associate editor of the Journal of Rural Emergency Medicine and past chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians section of rural emergency medicine. Dr. Wingate has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations nationally and in rural hospitals throughout northeast Georgia. Dr. Wingate and his wife Ann are the parents of ten children, live in Watkinsville and are proud to be part of a vibrant and growing community.