Public health officials are gearing up for an approaching flu season, and county health departments plan to open immunization clinics soon.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is encouraging residents to protect themselves and their families by getting flu shots early in the season. The health department will begin offering seasonal influenza vaccinations on Monday.
“Flu can be a dangerous disease for people of all ages — even healthy children and adults,” said Dr. Dale Claflin, the health department medical director, in a news release. “Getting an annual flu shot is the most important step in protecting against the flu. Influenza vaccine is very safe and effective.”
Public health influenza vaccination clinics will begin at county health departments throughout the state on Monday. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age or older. Pregnant women and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease, or other chronic conditions are strongly encouraged to get the vaccine.
Parents and family members of infants younger than 6 months of age and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for complications from the flu, including health care workers, also should get the vaccine.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department's immunization clinic is at 921 NE 23. The clinic hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays.
The clinic is open during the lunch hour and appointments are not required for general immunizations. The clinic can be reached by calling 425-4343.
The flu vaccination costs $25 with the exception of the high-dose shot, which costs $27. The health department provides flu vaccinations at no charge to individuals or families who qualify for fee waivers through a variety of programs.
Influenza vaccine formulations generally change each year based on samples collected of viruses circulated throughout the world, according to the state Health Department.
A flu vaccination received last year will not provide protection this year. Two new strains of influenza have begun circling the globe, and the updated vaccine appears to work well against them, government officials said Thursday.