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The Springfield Flu Coalition at the Greene County Health Department will offer flu vaccine clinics for “at-risk” groups starting in October. Those groups are: children ages 6 months to 18 years old, pregnant women, and people in close contact with babies under 6 months old, since those infants cannot receive the vaccine themselves. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has more.
There is no charge for a vaccine to Greene County residents who fall into those three categories. People who are in one of those groups but do not live in Greene County can pay a $15 fee to get a flu shot.
Mike Brothers is a spokesman for the health department.
“The flu coalition is a long standing group that has focused on providing flu vaccinations for at-risk groups and those that otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to get a flu shot very easily through perhaps their employer or schools or something like that.”
Brothers makes it clear that the health department is targeting a specific group of high-risk people to make sure they are able to get the care they might not otherwise be able to. He says other clinics offer vaccines for free to people who aren’t necessarily "at-risk."
“We’re going to have much more information about different ways you can get shots. I would ask people to just really be thinking about it, be thinking about it at this time ahead of the actual flu season, which is more like January, February and March. You should get vaccinated early because it takes a few weeks for those antibodies to build up and for the full protection to build up after you receive a shot. Now’s the time.”
Springfield Public Schools will be offering free vaccines starting next week.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.