Just because last year was the mildest flu season on record doesn't mean the virus might not bounce back to its usual ferocity this winter, officials said.
“People cannot become complacent this year,” said Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, who received his own flu shot Thursday.
Families with income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, seniors who are on Medicare and not covered by a managed care option and children who have no health insurance, are on SoonerCare, are American Indian or Alaskan natives, or whose insurance does not cover vaccines may qualify for vouchers for free shots. Residents who qualify should bring a photo ID.
The Oklahoma City clinic cannot bill health insurance for individual vaccinations, but some insurance companies may reimburse members who provide receipts. The health department will accept cash, check and credit cards for payment.
Flu vaccinations are also available from many pharmacies, doctors and clinics.
The health department asks that residents bring immunization records with them. A child getting the shot must have a parent or legal guardian present. Any person other than the parent must have legal proof of guardianship or a permission letter from the parent stating that the child may have the necessary shots on a specific date.
Many county health departments also will provide pneumococcal pneumonia vaccinations for people who are 65 years of age and older and those with chronic health conditions. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a potentially serious complication of the flu.
Contributing: The Associated Press