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Health

Greene County Sees First Reported Case of Flu; Here's Where You Can Get Vaccinated

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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department says it’s received the first report of flu this season.  KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson has this report on opportunities for flu shots in the area. 

Now that the first case of flu has been reported in Greene County, the health department will begin weekly updates on flu cases. 

Health officials are reminding people that it’s never too late to get a flu shot, and that it takes about two weeks for the immune system to boost up resistance to the flu after getting vaccinated. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over the age of 6 months be vaccinated, especially if they are high risk:  that’s young children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with chronic health conditions. 

Those who work with high-risk people, or who interact with infants 6 months old or younger should also be vaccinated. 

The Springfield Flu Coalition puts on free flu clinics for uninsured adults each fall, but those are over for this year.  For people without health insurance, if you don’t have a healthcare provider, your best option for a flu shot is now at a retail locations or pharmacy. Mike Brothers is the spokesman for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. 

“There’s a lot of availability now at the retail level for flu shots, and they’re pretty affordable.  We called around, and did a little bit of an informal survey across the community here this week, just to find out the latest prices.  It’s about 30 dollars or less,” Brothers said.

And, Brothers says, that’s a small investment compared to the cost of missing several days of work or school, or making others sick.

Pregnant women, children and those in close contact with infants less than six months old can still receive a shot at no cost at the health department’s Westside Public Health Center, 660 S. Scenic Ave.  You can make an appointment by calling (417) 874-1220, or use the walk-in clinic hours from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays.

For everyone else, there are options: Mercy will administer flu shots for the next three Fridays at 3265 S. National Avenue, Suite 115.  The vaccination costs $20, and only cash or credit cards will be accepted there.

Also, most Walgreen’s stores, and several Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Dillon’s pharmacies are offering flu shots in Springfield and across the Ozarks.

For an interactive map of places nearby offering the vaccination, you can click here, or visit www.flu.gov for more.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Davidson.