Seasonal flu shots are now available through the Spokane Regional Health District by appointment, and officials are recommending the shots prior to flu season, which could come as early as October.
The vaccine currently is suitable for ages 19 or older. Parents should call their health care provider if they are seeking shots for their children.
The health district said that anyone who wants to reduce their risk of flu should get a shot.
They are recommended for children, pregnant women, health care workers, those older than 50, those with chronic health conditions or who are medically vulnerable to influenza, and those who take care of them.
Getting a flu shot early in the season should help spread demand for any subsequent effort to vaccinate people against swine flu, district spokeswoman Julie Graham said in a press release.
A separate vaccine for swine flu is being developed and should be available this fall, according to the state Department of Health.
To schedule an appointment for a $20 seasonal flu shot, call the district at 324-1600. The clinic, 1101 W. College Ave., can bill Medicare and Medicaid for most people who have such coverage.