October is the best month to get your flu shot, because it takes a about two weeks after the shot for the body’s antibodies to develop and fight against the flu, said Tiffany Wilkinson, Division Manager with the Kansas City, Mo.,Health Department. That’s why many health departments across the state are currently offering free or reduced-price flu shots.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu shot every year for anyone six months or older, unless directed by a physician.
KCMO HEALTH DEPT.
The Kansas City, Mo., Health Department is offering flu shots at 2400 Troost Ave during regular clinic hours 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 8 a.m. – Noon on Thursdays.
There will be no out-of-pocket cost for children and adults who are uninsured or under-insured, or those with Medicaid or Medicaid B. Those with Medicare Advantage plans will need to go to their primary care physician to be vaccinated.
SEDGWICK CO. HEALTH DEPT.
The Sedgwick County Health Department is offering flu shots at no cost to uninsured adults, uninsured children, children covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid (Aetna, Sunflower, or United Healthcare).
Residents who qualify may visit the SCHD’s Main Clinic at 2716 W. Central, Wichita. Flu shots are available at SCHD by appointment (316) 660-7300 or walk-in.
Appointments are available noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and noon to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Shots are available for walk-ins 8 – 11:30 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
Residents who do not qualify for free flu shots should contact their insurance company to find out where flu shots are covered by their plans and use the online flu vaccine finder at www.cdc.gov/flu/ (located at the bottom right corner of the page) to find the nearest location.
Most private insurance companies pay the full cost of a flu vaccine, so there should also be no out-of-pocket cost for children and adults with insurance.
Anyone can get the flu. Influenza viruses spread from person to person every year through coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms vary by age and can include fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose.
There is no live virus in flu shots, and the vaccine cannot cause the flu. A flu shot can keep you from getting the flu, make symptoms less severe if you do become ill, and keep you from spreading the flu virus to your family and others, especially those unable to receive immunization.
FREE FLU SHOTS IN WICHITA OCT. 19
Free flu vaccines will be available at six Wichita locations on Sat., Oct. 19, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., courtesy of the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy and United Way of the Plains as part of the 10th Annual Operation Immunization.
Locations include: GraceMed, 1122 N. Topeka St.; Guadalupe Clinic, 2825 S. Hillside St.; Guadalupe Clinic, 940 S. Saint Francis; HealthCore Clinic, 2707 E. 21st St.; Hunter Health Clinic, 527 N. Grove St.; Café con Leche, North High School, 1437 N. Rochester St.
Vaccines will be provided first come, first serve to eligible patients while supplies last. Children must be six years old and accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Additional support for the immunization clinic is provided by Guadalupe Clinic, GraceMed, KU School of Medicine-Wichita JayDoc Community Clinic, Dandurand Drugstore, Wichita Academy of Pharmacists, HealthCore Clinic, Hunter Health and Walgreens.