The Barton County Health Department is offering extended hours:
Monday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For more information, call 620-793-1902.
The 2016-2017 flu season is rapidly approaching and the Barton County Health Department is prepared. The office will have the vaccines available starting Monday and will hold outreach clinics countywide.
“It’s hard to predict what each season is going to be like, but we should have good coverage this year,” Health Director Shelly Schneider said. Not only should this year’s vaccine tackle the most virulent flu strains floating around, there should also be an abundant supply.
“That shouldn’t be an issue,” she said of the availability.
The Centers for Disease and Control reports that manufacturers projected they would provide between 157 million and 168 million doses of injectable vaccine for the U.S. market. (Projections may change as the season progresses.)
Nonetheless, Schneider draws on 17 years of experience in anti-influenza campaigns. “Every year, something comes along and derails your plans.”
The department will begin administering vaccines Monday during regular business hours on a walk-in basis. Hours have been extended to help meet the need.
Schneider said caregivers of infants less than 6 months of age, and anyone with a loved one who has a high risk of complications due to influenza, should especially get their flu shots. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of developing flu complications, and their close contacts.
However, “the vaccine is recommended for everyone this year,” she said.
The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated to match circulating flu viruses. “Getting a flu shot is the best protection against getting influenza for everyone 6 months of age and older,” she said.
A high dose formula for adults age 65 and older will also be available at the health department.
According to the CDC, vaccines should be administered by the end of October if possible, however, getting vaccinated later is OK. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and March.
Also new this year is the elimination of the nasal mist vaccine. Only the shots will be administered.
The Barton County Health Department has scheduled community outreach for influenza and pneumonia vaccinations. These include:
• Tuesday, Sept. 27, department staff will be providing regular and high dose for adults and children, and pneumonia vaccine at Susank Agco Corporation from 8:30-9:30 a.m.; at Beaver Fire Station 10–11 a.m.; at Odin Store 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; and at Claflin Fire Station 1–2 p.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 28, department staff will be providing vaccines at Galatia Fire Station 8–9 a.m.; at The New Place in Olmitz 9:30-10:30 a.m.; at Albert City Building 1-2 p.m.; and at Pawnee Rock City Office 2:30-3:30 p.m.
• If a business, worksite, club or civic group is interested in scheduling a flu shot outreach onsite for workers or members call Barton County Health Department for scheduling.
• If someone is homebound, or not able to walk into the health department, call and staff will make arrangements to visit the home, or meet the individual at their vehicle in our parking lot to administer a flu shot.
For more information, contact the department at 620-793-1902.