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AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

This Oct. 17, 2012 file photo shows a flu shot administered in Jackson, Miss. More children than ever got vaccinated against the flu last year, and health officials are urging families to do even better this time around. A severe flu strain swept the country last winter, sparking a scramble for last-minute vaccinations. There's no way to predict if this year will be as bad. But protection requires a yearly vaccine, either a shot or nasal spray. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it's time for people to start getting immunized.

The Kern County Public Health Services Department will offer $9 flu shots at vaccination clinics on a first-come, first-serve basis this fall.

In a news release, Dr. Claudia Jonah, Kern County health officer, encouraged everyone age six months and older to get a flu shot. High-risk groups targeted for the vaccine include children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with a chronic health condition that weakens the immune system, such as asthma, cancer or HIV.

Clinics will be held as follows:

- Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Public Health Services Department, 1800 Mount Vernon Ave.

- Oct. 15, 22 and 29 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Public Health Office, 7050 Lake Isabella Blvd. Suite 151, Lake Isabella.

- Oct. 16 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Public Health Office, 455 Lexington St., Delano.

- Oct. 16 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Pine Mountain Club, 2524 Beechwood Way, Pine Mountain.

- Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Healthy Harvest Fair, 5357 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield.

- Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the Hosking Avenue Swap Meet, 1000 E. Hosking Ave., Bakersfield.

- Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Public Health Office, 250 W. Ridgecrest Blvd., Ridgecrest.

- Oct. 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Public Health Office, 12014 Main St., Lamont.

- Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Public Health Office, 1775 Highway 58, Mojave.

- Oct. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Public Health Office, 204 S. Hill St., Arvin.

In Shafter, call 746-7562 for an appointment at the Public Health Office, 329 Central Valley Highway.

In Taft, call 763-8591 for an appointment at the Public Health Office, 315 North Lincoln St.

In Wasco, call 758-3006 for an appointment at the Public Health Office, 810 8th St.

People who cannot stand in lines due to physical limitations can call 321-3000 for an appointment.