OKLAHOMA CITY – As fall arrives and temperatures begin to drop, the flu virus begins to make its presence known across the country.
Health officials are encouraging everyone over the age of 6 months to get vaccinated against the flu.
Experts say children have the highest chance of getting sick and often are to blame for spreading the germs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 20,000 children in the United States under the age of 5-years-old are hospitalized each year because of influenza complications.
Ellen, Pogemiller, director of the Oklahoma County Immunization Coalition, said, “Infants are more at risk for serious complications, so we encourage parents, older kids and caregivers to get the flu shot.”
Even though vaccines cut down on flu-related illnesses, not enough children are vaccinated annually against the disease.
The Oklahoma Caring Van Program is offering free vaccines to children who are uninsured, Medicaid-eligible or American Indian.
The Caring Van clinics include the following:
- Thursday, Oct. 10th from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Oklahoma County Community College Children Development Center, located at 6500 S. Land.
- Thursday, Oct. 10th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Capitol Hill WIC, located at 210 S.W. 25th St.
- Thursday, Oct. 17th from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Latino Community Development Agency, located at 420 S.W. 10th St.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department will charge $25 for adult flu vaccinations.
However, it will not charge seniors or children if they meet the following requirements:
- Currently on Medicare with Medicare card.
- No charge for children who have no health insurance or are on SoonerCare, Native American or Alaskan natives or children whose insurance does not cover vaccines.
- No cost for anyone 6 months through 64-years-old with HealthChoice Insurance.
For more information, visit the health department’s website.