The City-Cowley County Health Department will provide drive-through flu shot clinics next month in both Arkansas City and Winfield.
The drive-through flu shot clinics will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Winfield Fairgrounds and from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Agri-Business Building, located at 712 W. Washington Ave. in Arkansas City.
This year marks the 10th year in a row that the department has provided the community with a drive-through flu shot option, according to Tom Langer, Cowley County’s public health officer. He has been the administrator of the department since 2016.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for people who have problems with limited mobility, for families with children or people on a busy schedule to quickly and conveniently gain protection from the flu virus,” Langer said.
“At both clinics, residents will have the opportunity to drive up and receive the 2018 flu vaccination without having to leave their cars.”
Since people don’t have to leave their vehicles to receive their shots, the drive-through clinic is an option that works well for those who have difficulty walking even short distances.
“The health department recommends that everyone receive the flu vaccine annually to reduce the spread of influenza across the county,” Langer said.
“Last season, the flu impacted the health of Cowley County residents extremely hard, and outbreaks of A Type and B Type influenza reached epidemic proportion during the peak months of January and February. Children under age 10 were especially impacted, causing many missed school days and also missed work days for parents.”
The cost of the flu shot usually is covered 100 percent by insurance plans. The health department does not charge an insurance copay fee.
For those who are uninsured or under-insured, the flu shot is made available for a reasonable price.
Children can receive the vaccination for free, thanks to a Medicaid program used by the health department.
For adults, the cost of the vaccination is generally $20 or less, which is determined by the department.
This year, the health department will offer residents the choice to receive the standard Fluzone influenza vaccine that protects against four strains of influenza, or they can choose to receive the Fluzone High Dose vaccine that provides up to four times the antigen.
“Fluzone High Dose vaccine is recommended for people over age 65. As we age, our immune system weakens and this vaccine allows people to build a stronger antibody response,” Langer said.
The Health Department also is providing a new vaccine option this year.
Flublock vaccine will be available in a limited supply. This vaccine is recommended for people 18 years old or older, and especially for people aged 50 to 65.
“Flublock is a vaccine that is non-egg-based and delivers a higher dose of flu antigen — a kind of mid-range more than the Quadrivalent, but not as much as the High Dose,” Langer said.
For more information about the drive-through flu shot clinics or other clinics in the community, visit the health department website at www.cowleycounty.org/health or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cowleycountyhealth.
The Health Department can be reached at (620)442-3260.