Flu season has officially begun, and the best method of protection—not to mention one of the easiest–is the flu vaccine.
Springfield Flu Coalition’s no-cost vaccination clinics for uninsured adults began Oct. 3. Weekly updates on flu, along with historical information on past seasons, are posted at health.springfieldmo.gov/flu
Uninsured adults in Greene County can get a free flu vaccine from the Springfield Flu Coalition – a longstanding partnership between CoxHealth, the Greene County Medical Society, Mercy Springfield and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, as well as nursing colleges associated with both Cox and Mercy. These clinics are free for uninsured Greene County adult residents only and are available:
- Sunday, Oct. 21, 1 – 3 p.m., Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1609 N. Summit Ave.
- Sunday, Oct. 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., South Fremont Freewill Baptist & Korean Church, 4547 S. Fremont Ave.
- Tuesday, Oct. 23, 3 – 7 p.m., Hand-in-Hand Multicultural Center, 1436 W. Hovey
- Wednesday, Oct. 24, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1609 N. Summit Ave.
- Friday, Oct. 26, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Crosslines, 615 N. Glenstone Ave.
- Wednesday, Nov. 7, 5 – 6 p.m., Grace United Methodist Church, 600 S. Jefferson Ave.
Why get immunized
The historic 2017-2018 flu season was a deadly epidemic in the United States. In Greene County, 4,681 cases of lab-confirmed flu were recorded. Comparatively, the next-highest recent season, the 2014-2015 flu season, had 2,575 cases recorded in Greene County.
The flu vaccine isn’t always a perfect match for the circulating virus, but the protection the vaccine provides is better than none.
Who should get immunized
Flu vaccinations are strongly recommended for everyone six months of age and older. It is especially important for infants, young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
The months with the most flu activity in Springfield tend to be from January to March. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting the flu vaccine before the end of October for the best possible protection.
A few reminders about getting vaccinated:
- Everyone over the age of six months is recommended to be vaccinated.
- Flu vaccine will protect against the most common flu viruses expected to circulate this year.
- Even if you got vaccinated last year, it is important to get vaccinated again this year to protect from changing flu viruses.
- Talk to your doctor before the vaccine if you are pregnant or have any health concerns.
- Influenza is a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. The annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others. It takes two weeks for the body to build full immunity to the flu after the vaccination, which is why getting vaccinated early is important.