KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As we enter flu season, doctors, nurses and pharmacists are stressing the importance of getting a flu vaccine. The strain most scientist predict will hit the United States this year is more severe than in years past. Health advocates admit the flu shot doesn’t totally prevent people from getting the flu, but say it’s scientifically proven to reduce the risk of getting the flu.
“The biggest reason [to get a flu shot] is for yourself, to keep you immunized, to keep you healthy. But, also, it helps the whole community so they're not passing along the virus,” said Sarah Nickman, a pharmacy manager at a Walgreen’s in Kansas City, Missouri.
To help ensure everyone has access to the vaccine, Mother and Child Health Coalition hosted a pop-up flu shot clinic Wednesday at Saint Anthony Parish in Kansas City.
The health coalition operates the Mid America Immunization Coalition, which partners with Walgreens and the US Department of Health and Human Services to provide free flu shots to people.
Wednesday, it offered the flu vaccine to students at Don Bosco’s English as a second language school on the church campus. Truman Medical Center operates a wellness connection center at the school for adult immigrants and helped administer the flu shots to people who wanted them.
“What we're covering you for is what we've seen in this area. So what we're trying to do is prevent you from what you will be exposed to here. It's very important for you to get the vaccine,” said Raquel Garcia, a community health education nurse with Truman Medical Center.
Garcia said besides the flu vaccine, handwashing is another way to prevent the spread of the flu. She suggested washing hands before eating and after touching anything you share with coworkers or family members.
For a list of upcoming clinics from the Mid America Immunization Coalition, click here.