'Tis The Season For Flu Shots

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's that time of the year again, as we enter the prime season for sniffles and sneezes.

Medical specialists are recommending that anyone six months and older receive the flu vaccine, but some people might need to be on the lookout for a new vaccination site.

Velda Marcum and her nineteen year old son Kenneth rolled up their sleeves, and prepared for a poke.

"I have asthma, so for me not to get the flu shot would lead to bronchitis or pneumonia," Marcum said. "I've already had one of those this year so I don't need another one."

For her flu shot injection, Velda came to the Sedgwick County Health Department clinic.

"I haven't needed to come to the clinic because I've always been insured but now I'm not," Marcum said.

While she's qualified to come to the county health clinic this year, many others are not. The clinic is narrowing their demographic and targeting uninsured patients.

"It's not due to funding or due to a shortage of the flu vaccine, it's just due to our reaction to the wider availability of flu vaccines," said Immunization Services Coordinator Beverly Stewart.

This year, they will only treat people ages 19 and older without insurance, as well as uninsured children or children on state insurance.

"Most people have been understanding. There's been a few people that don't quite understand why, but that's to be expected," Stewart said.

If the change leaves you searching for a new vaccination site, there is a website that can help. Just visit www.sedgwickcounty.org, and follow the link under get your flu shot. By simply putting in your zip code, a number of nearby vaccination locations will come up.

"It's very easy in the community for those with private insurance to access flu shots now," Stewart said. "Our primary focus for adults this year is those without insurance."

Those like Velda, who is supportive of the change.

" I know a lot of people who aren't insured right now so coming down here is just great," Marcum said.

Flu shots are available at most neighborhood pharmacies, including places like Walmart, Walgreens, and Target. Experts say that the cost of a flu shot usually ranges between twenty and thirty dollars.

We have a link to the vaccination location finder below.

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