Flu shots available to Sedgwick County residents starting Monday

Flu shot (AP File Photo)
Flu shot (AP File Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Flu season is on the way. The flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year usually between October and May.

According to the Sedgwick County Division of Health, a vaccination the flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself and your family from becoming ill with the flu.

Flu vaccines will be available at the Sedgwick County Division of Health clinic, 2716 W. Central in Wichita, beginning Sept. 19, 2016. Clinic hours are:

Monday – Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, noon to 6:30 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As of Dec. 1, 2016, clinic hours  at 2716 W. Central will be:

Monday – Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, noon to 6:30 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Flu vaccinations are available to uninsured children age 18 and younger, and children with state-sponsored insurance plans such as Medicaid, Amerigroup, United Healthcare, or Sunflower. A sliding fee scale is available for children who qualify.

On Oct. 1, 2016, flu vaccinations will be available to uninsured adults age 19 and older for a sliding fee from $30 to $2. Proof of income is needed for a discount.

If you do not qualify for a free flu vaccination, please visit your primary care physician or neighborhood pharmacy to receive one.  Visit www.flu.gov for information about resources in your area.  Flu vaccinations are recommended for anyone six months or older, unless otherwise directed by a physician. It is important to get a flu vaccination every year, as the most prevalent flu strains are usually different from year to year.  Sedgwick County wants to remind residents that flu vaccinations protect the person receiving it as well as others who are not able to receive this type of immunization.

Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get the flu.  Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms vary by age, but can include:  fever/ chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose.

You can prevent the spread of flu and safeguard yourself and your family with these simple steps:

  1. Get a flu vaccination (flu shot).
  2. Wash your hands.  Use hand sanitizer if soap and running water are not available.
  3. Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  4. Stay home if you become ill.

There is no live virus in flu shots and the vaccine cannot cause the flu.  The Division of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the flu vaccine because it can keep you from getting the flu, make the flu less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading flu to your family and others. FluMist, the nasal vaccine spray, will not be available this year per CDC recommendations..

“People who do develop flu symptoms, should contact their medical provider right away,” said the Division of Health Director Adrienne Byrne – Lutz.  “Prescription antiviral medications are available to shorten the duration of flu symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.”

If you have questions about the flu vaccine, please contact the Sedgwick County Immunizations Program at 316-660-7362 or immunizations@sedgwick.gov

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