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Free flu clinics for uninsured people start Oct. 21 in Greene County

October 08, 2012|edited news release from Mike Brothers, Springfield-Greene County Health Department

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Springfield Flu Immunization Coalition will offer adult seasonal flu shot clinics beginning this month.  These vaccinations offer protection against seasonal flu and include protection against the H1N1 virus.  Vaccinations will be available at no cost for adult residents without health insurance.

Residents without insurance who are unable to pay for a flu shot are more likely to forgo vaccination and may have to go to emergency rooms and clinics to treat flu-related symptoms.  These treatment options can often be more costly.  By offering flu shots to residents without insurance, the Flu Coalition aims to reduce the spread of flu as well as reduce the costs of treatment associated with flu illness.

Health care workers and individuals with insurance coverage, including those with Medicare, should get their flu shots through employers or physicians.

The Springfield Flu Immunization Coalition’s clinics are scheduled at the following times and locations on a first-come, first-served basis.

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· Sunday, Oct. 21, 1-4 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1609 N. Summit Ave.

· Thursday, Nov. 1, 3-7 p.m. at Hand-In-Hand Ministries, 1436 W. Hovey St.

· Friday, Nov. 2, 8 a.m.-Noon at St. Agnes Elementary School (cafeteria), 531 S. Jefferson Ave.

· Wednesday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Salvation Army, 1707 W. Chestnut Expressway

· Tuesday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m.-Noon at Crosslines, 1710 E. Chestnut Expressway

Vaccine for the clinics is  made available again this year through the cooperation of the Springfield Flu Immunization Coalition.  The Flu Coalition is a longstanding partnership that includes CoxHealth, the Greene County Medical Society, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Mercy Springfield, Ozarks Community Hospital and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, as well the nursing colleges associated with both Cox and Mercy. 

For more information about clinics, call the flu hotline (417) 874-1228.

In an effort to reach more people in new and different ways, the Flu Coalition is also setting up a “rolling flu clinic” that will administer flu vaccine to employees of restaurants and hotels along Glenstone Avenue, one of the mostly highly concentrated commercial corridors in the city.  Although these mobile clinics will not be open to the public, the Coalition believes this effort will make a difference in lessening the effects of seasonal flu at large.  More information about this effort will be released in the coming weeks.

Vaccination is the best way to protect you and your family from the flu.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends everyone over the age of 6 months receive a flu shot. 

Flu vaccine is available throughout the community, in both healthcare and in retail settings for adults. Most healthcare providers offer flu shots to patients and retail locations provide flu shots for adults making it easy and convenient to get vaccinated.  Many retail locations offer billing services for Medicare and Medicaid on behalf of the patient.  Contact individual retailers for more information on flu shot availability and billing services.

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