Health professionals recommend already getting the flu shot

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- You may not want to think about it, but we're are entering flu season. CoxHealth has already treated one case of the flu this season. Now, health organizations are gearing up for vaccinations.

Greene County saw more than 4,300 cases of the flu last season and with one confirmed case already, health experts are recommending that you get the shot as soon as possible.

"The CDC is actually recommending you get that before Halloween due to the fact that it can take a couple of weeks to get into your system." said Cindy Edwards, a registered nurse with CoxHealth.

Last year the flu vaccine was only 20 percent effective, but Edwards says it is still worth getting the flu shot.

"Even if that strain is not the exact strain that is in the community it will still help protect you from the flu and lessen the severity of the case of the flu that you have." Edwards explained.

If you are an adult without insurance, the Springfield Flu Coalition can get you a free flu shot. The vaccination schedule has not been released but will begin in October. You can contact the Springfield Greene County Health department next week for more information. If you are an adult with insurance and are not sure where to go to get your flu shot for the cheapest price...

"If you call your local health department they probably have good resources to guide you on that." Edwards added.

Starting next week, Springfield students will be able to get a flu shot at their school...for free.

"Every year there are about 90 thousand deaths related to the flu so why wouldn't we make a choice to save a life by getting a simple flu vaccination." said Jean Grabeel, the Director of Health Services for Springfield Public Schools.

The flu shots are not given without parental consent, so if you didn't get a consent form your child, go onto the SPS website to download one and turn it in.

"We want to make sure that we are getting those available and we were fortunate to be able to start those a little bit earlier this year." Grabeel explained.

She hopes that every student gets the flu vaccine, because she remembers what it was like two years ago when more than 4,600 cases were reported in Greene County during one of the worst flu seasons ever.

"During the month of February we had 14 schools that were out. They had at one time or another had 10 percent or more of their kids away," Grabeel added. "If they are in school and feeling well, then that equals educational success to us."

For more information on the SPS flu shot for students Click HERE

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.