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Seasonal Flu Shot Clinics Scheduled

Flu season is just around the corner, and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is gearing up to help those at high-risk for complications of seasonal flu keep from getting the illness. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more…

Starting in early October, certain individuals in Greene County can get seasonal flu vaccines from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.Jaci McReynolds, spokesperson for the health department, encourages anyone who is eligible to take advantage of the seasonal flu shot clinics…

"Being vaccinated against seasonal flu is the gold standard of protection, so we encourage everyone to go out as soon as possible and get that seasonal flu shot. It will not protect them against H1N1, but it will protect them against other flu viruses that are likely to be circulating in our community this fall. It's also going to help them keep their immune system strong so they'll be better protected against H1N1."

The seasonal flu shots will be offered for free to anyone 65 and older, adults and children with chronic health conditions, children 6 to 59 months, women who will be pregnant during the 2009-2010 flu season October thru May and household contacts and caregivers of people in those high-risk categories.Many people are focused this year on the H1N1 influenza virus. But McReynolds says they should be concerned about seasonal flu as well…

"Seasonal flu does kill approximately 36,000 people every year. It's a very high number and something that we really need to take seriously. We don't know yet what the fall flu season is going to look like, but we can be guaranteed that seasonal flu will strike us, so we really do need to be prepared for that as well."

Clinic dates are October 5th from 2 to 6 at the Willard Community Center, October 8th from 2 to 6 at Fair Grove City Hall, October 12th from 10 to 2 at the Boys and Girls Club Stalnaker Unit, October 14th from 10 to 2 at Boy Scouts of America and October 15th from 10 to 2 at the Salvation Army.No appointments are necessary. Wear a short-sleeved shirt and take a Medicare or Medicaid card if you have one.Vaccinations for the H1N1 virus are expected to be available in mid to late October.For more information about the seasonal flu shot clinics or about the seasonal flu or the H1N1 virus, visit www.springfieldmo.gov/health or www.fighttheflumo.com or call 864-1166.