Columbia, SC (WLTX)- State Health Officials say do not let cost prevent you from getting a flu shot.

Many health care providers, pharmacies and community organizations offer low or no cost flu shots, according to DHEC.

Health officials says this flu season is serious and because of that, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will waive administrative fees some pay for a flu shot at its public health clinics.

Residents can make an appointment at a DHEC public health clinic to receive the flu vaccine by calling 1-855-472-3432.Clinic hours and the availability of the vaccine vary by location.

"The flu shot is the best protection against the flu. It is extremely important for those who have not gotten their flu shot to be vaccinated now," said Dr. Tracy Foo, DHEC Immunization Medical Consultant.

In addition to the flu shot, be sure to wash your hands often and avoid contact with sick people. If you become sick with the flu, avoid contact with others.

Vaccine Facts:

• It is not too late to get a flu shot.

• It takes about two weeks for the body to build up protection after getting the flu vaccine, so the sooner you get the vaccine, the better.

• The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. Flu vaccines contain virus strains that are not active and cannot produce disease.

In South Carolina, there have been 84 flu-associated deaths, according to DHEC.