This year’s Morgan County Health Department flu shot clinic will run for one day instead of two.
The annual event at the Jacksonville High School Bowl on West College goes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Private pay is $30 for a regular shot; high-dose vaccines for those 65 and older costs $50. The health department bills Medicare, Medicaid and has contracts with Health Alliance and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Communicable Disease Coordinator Jacquie Barringer spoke with us this morning on WLDS’ “What’s On Your Mind?” She explains why the second day of flu shots isn’t happening this year.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a decline in the number of people that have come for flu vaccine, and so we cut it down to one day,” says Barringer. “Also, at the beginning of the fall, we got a call from Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart asked us to come in and do some flu clinics there. I think we’ve been vaccinating maybe more people this year then we have in the past,” she continues.
In addition, the flu shot is available at several pharmacies in Jacksonville and will be at the health department after the flu clinic.
Barringer says the standard flu shot has traditionally protected against three strains, but she says there are four-strain flu vaccines available in shot and mist forms.
“They break it down into three different categories. There’s ‘A’ strains that can make us very, very sick. There’s ‘B’ strains that are not quite as virulent or strong as ‘A’ strains, and then, there’s the ‘C’ strains. We don’t even vaccinate against those,” she explains.
“If they do make us sick, it’s very, very mild. We usually see two ‘A’s and a ‘B’. We have vaccines this year that have two ‘A’s and a ‘B’, we have a vaccine this year [for] two ‘A’s and two ‘B’s.”
In terms of high-priority demographics, Barringer says elderly and young people should definitely be vaccinated. However, she notes that flu shots aren’t for everybody. She encourages anyone who has a question about whether they should get the shot to contact a physician.
“One of the things that we always ask people is [if they’ve] ever had Guillain-Barre syndrome. Guillain-Barre syndrome is kind of the body’s immune system attacking the nervous system, and it’s really not sure what sets this off. However, it has been set off in the past- [there] has been noticed, a correlation to some vaccines.”
You can listen to the full interview here.