Don’t wait until the winter rush, flu shots will be available from the Newton County Health Department beginning next week.

“We do shots on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday, 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m., so no appointment is necessary,” said Barbara Short, RN.
Short said the Health Department will begin administering flu shots at their 812 W. Harmony St. location, Neosho, on Tuesday.

Short advised no outlying flu shot clinics will be held this year, but there will not be a finite number of shots available as in previous years.

“In the past we purchased our vaccine and we just ordered a certain amount and we only did it for a short period of time,” she said. “But now we have a company that actually is supplying the vaccine and doing the billing for us, and so we can reorder so we’ll have vaccine throughout the season.”

Short noted the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has changed recommendations in the last few years.

“They used to recommend that you waited until October or November, but now they recommend to get a flu shot as early as you can as the vaccine comes out,” Short said.

She said the height of the flu season is typically in February, but cases do emerge with the coming of cold weather.

Short said the health department can bill a number of insurance companies, and accepts Medicare. For those without insurance, she indicated the cost is $25. Short recommended a high-dose vaccine for those ages 65 and older at a cost of $35.

Short said that several different presentations of the 2014-2015 influenza vaccine are offered, and residents will be screened to determine which is indicated for their age and health condition. Season influenza vaccination will not be available for pregnant women.

Please contact the nursing department of the Newton County Health Department with any questions at 451-3743.