Flu shots available at health department

Flu Shot (NBC Photo)

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — Flu season is underway, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said now is the time to get vaccinated.

The Sedgwick County Health Department is offering flu shots to children and adults.

Free flu vaccinations are available to children and adults who are on a state insurance program. Any child or adult uninsured can also get a flu vaccination for a sliding scale fee from $30 to $2. However, proof of income must be shown.

According to health officials, everybody six months and older should get a flu shot. It can help reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed  work and school days, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

Preston Goering, Sedgwick County preventive health director, said October is the best month to get vaccinated.

“The main reason for getting it early is because then you’re protected through the whole season,” he said.  “If you get it later and you start to see people who are sick, then you’re obviously going to be running the risk of getting sick yourself.”

A common question people ask health officials is if the flu shot can get them sick. Goering said the vaccine cannot give someone the flu, because it is not a live vaccine.

“If you do get the flu, even if you’ve had the vaccination, it keeps it from being as severe as it would have been without the vaccination,” Goering said.

He added that there are symptoms that might occur as a result of getting a flu shot.

This includes: soreness or redness at the shot site, body aches, a fever, headache, and a runny nose or congestion.

Flu shots are available at the Sedgwick County Health Clinic at 2716 W Central Avenue. It’s open Monday-Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., then Thursday noon to 6:30 p.m.