FRANKLIN AND WILLIAMSON COUNTIES, IL (KFVS) - It's already that time of year to start thinking about a flu shot.
Several Heartland public health departments are starting to promote the seasonal vaccine.
The Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department is one of those departments.
They have the vaccine available now, and have begun vaccinating at both health department locations.
Flu shots will be available during regular walk-in clinic hours at both health department locations; Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Marion office location (8160 Express Drive) and Tuesday and Thursday at the Benton office location (403 East Park) from 8-11 a.m. and 1- 3 p.m.
Bi-County Health will host a flu clinic from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at the Benton office and Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at the Marion office.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend annual seasonal flu shots for everyone age 6 months and older.
The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated by the end of October, if possible.
Although recommended for everyone, seasonal flu shots are especially important for the very young and senior citizens, as well as anyone with chronic underlying health conditions.
Bi-County Health distributes the quadrivalent influenza vaccine which offers protection against four strains.
New this year, Bi-County will also distribute the high-dose influenza vaccine for those 65 years of age and older.
The fee for the influenza vaccine is $35 and the fee for the high-dose influenza vaccine is $65.
Bi-County also has flu vaccine available through the Vaccine For Children Program.
To be eligible for this program, the child has to be between the ages of 6 months to 18 years of age and fall into any of the following categories: be a Medicaid recipient, has no insurance, has insurance that does not cover vaccines, or is Alaskan Native/American Indian.
The cost for the VFC is $20 or the Illinois Medicaid (Title XIX) card will cover the cost.
Bi-County Health accepts Medicare Part B, Illinois Medicaid (for both children (Title XIX) and adults), private insurance, cash, check, or credit/debit cards (MasterCard, VISA, Discover) for flu and pneumonia shots.