State health officer urges Kansans to get flu vaccine

Don't forget to get a flu vaccine this season.

Don't forget to get a flu vaccine this season. by Karrey Britt

It's not too late to get a flu shot.

With flu activity increasing and family and friends gathering for the holidays, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment urges all Kansans to receive an annual flu vaccination to protect themselves and their loved ones.

National Influenza Vaccination Week" (Dec. 2-8) serves as a reminder that all of us have a responsibility to prevent the spread of influenza. Influenza activity usually peaks in February and can last as late as May. Through a sentinel surveillance network, KDHE has identified two different types of influenza viruses currently circulating, and influenza activity is increasing within the state.

On average, each year:

• 5 to 30 percent of the U.S. population will get the flu.

• 200,000 people will be hospitalized with flu complications.

• 36,000 will die from complications caused by influenza, including 1,300 Kansans.  

“Flu season is here and before it becomes widespread, take the opportunity to get your vaccine now. Getting a flu vaccination is also a great way to protect those who are at high risk.”

— Dr. Robert Moser, KDHE secretary and state health officer

Dr. Robert Moser

Dr. Robert Moser by Karrey Britt

In addition to getting vaccinated, avoid spreading the flu virus by covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands and staying home when you are sick.

Symptoms of the flu include: fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough and muscle aches. Complications can include pneumonia, ear and sinus infections and dehydration; the flu might also worsen other chronic conditions.  

Nearly all persons six months and older are recommended to receive a flu vaccine. Anyone caring for, or in regular contact with, an infant less than six months of age should also be immunized. Babies this age are too young to be vaccinated and are more vulnerable to the complications from influenza disease, as are pregnant women, people with asthma, heart disease, and diabetes along with adults over the age of 65.

In Douglas County, only about half of the population reported getting a flu shot in 2010.   For information on receiving the flu vaccine, please contact your health care provider or the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department at 843-0721.


Joe Adams 5 years, 10 months ago

You mean, the flu shot my wife and child got earlier this year...the one that forgot to show up and stop the flu like symptoms they had for 2 weeks?

riverdrifter 5 years, 10 months ago

That's a mercury compound that your body does not assimilate. Get informed. Also, the flu morphs from year to year. This years' flu is not next years'. Again, get informed.

Ryan Neuhofel 5 years, 10 months ago

You are probably referring to Thiomersal preservative found in some versions of the vaccination (namely multi-dose vials). While I believe the existing evidence does NOT show any harms of using Thiomersal, there are "preservative-free" vaccines available if you desire to avoid it.

riverdrifter 5 years, 10 months ago

By all means, yes, get a flu shot. Just don't get it at Lawrence Family Practice Center. They charged me $65.

Silverhair 5 years, 10 months ago

$65 is way to expensive for a flu shot. I am needing one. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best place to go to get a flu shot for for a reasonable price? Does anyone charge under $20?

Ryan Neuhofel 5 years, 10 months ago

See Charlie's post below. This Saturday morning we are charging $10 for people wearing an ugly holiday sweater ($5 discount) AND donation to Just Food ($5 discount).

But, $20 for grinches!

Hot cocoa and festive jingles are free.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 9 months ago

If you're a vet, under some circumstances you can get it at no cost, and for others it's for a co-pay that I think is $7.

Charlie Bryan 5 years, 10 months ago

The "Procrastinators $10 Flu Shot Holiday Party" is being offered by Dr. Ryah Neuhofel this Saturday. More information about the event is available on WellCommons at

Also, flu vaccines are available at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department’s clinic, 200 Maine, on a walk-in basis. They cost $23 for children ages 6 months to 35 months, and $28 for anyone ages 3 and older. For more information, call its clinic at 843-0721.

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