The Sedgwick County Division of Health says the flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself and your family from becoming ill with the flu and will begin offering flu shots on October 1.
Influenza is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year usually between October and May.
The Sedgwick County Division of Health flu shots are free to uninsured adults age 19 and older and to children age 18 and younger with CHIP, Medicaid, Amerigroup, United Healthcare or Sunflower. A sliding fee scale from $2-$20.26 will be applied to uninsured children age 18 and younger. Please remember the following:
Residents who do not qualify for flu shots at the SCDOH should contact their insurance companies to find out where flu shots are covered by their plans, and use the online flu vaccine finder at to find a location near you.
Residents who qualify may visit the SCDOH’s Main Clinic at 2716 W. Central (67203) in Wichita. Clinic hours are:
- Monday-Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Thursday, noon to 6:30 p.m.
- Friday, 8-5 p.m. (no walks ins after 4:30 p.m. for immunizations)
Proof of income, such as pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, an award letter, or a letter from your employer, is required to qualify for the sliding fee scale.
Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing and close contact.
Anyone can get the flu. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms vary by age, but can include: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose.
“People who do develop flu symptoms should contact their medical provider because it is highly contagious,” said SCDOH Director Adrienne Byrne. “Prescription antiviral medications are available to shorten the duration of flu symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection develop in the body. Flu vaccine is the best way to prevent infection, but everyone must be re-vaccinated each year because the flu viruses change each year.”
There is no live virus in flu shots, and the vaccine cannot cause the flu. The SCDOH and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend the flu vaccine because it can keep you from getting flu, make flu less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading flu to your family and other people. The CDC recommends obtaining the vaccination by the end of October because the virus typically circulates most commonly from late fall through early spring.
Flu vaccinations are recommended for anyone six months or older, unless otherwise directed by a physician. Additional populations at higher risk are persons aged 50 years and older, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, persons extremely obese, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and those planning to travel outside of the United States.
The Flu vaccination protects the person receiving it, as well as others who are not able to receive this type of immunization. Visit www.flu.gov for information about resources in your area or please call our Immunizations Line at 316-660-7362.