City News

Posted on: September 19, 2017

It is time to receive influenza vaccinations

Unfortunately, the flu is a common illness this time of year.  It is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.  Common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle or body aches, feeling tired, cough, sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose.  While some symptoms mimic the common cold, it is different from a cold.  In most cases, the flu causes mild to moderate illness, but it can lead to severe illness, and complications can lead to death.


People with the flu can spread the virus before, during, and after they are sick.  Flu is spread mainly by droplets made when people who have the flu cough, sneeze, or talk.  Viruses can also spread on surfaces, but this is less common.  Anyone can get the flu.  Some people – like very young children, older adults, and people with some health conditions – are at high risk of serious complications.


The flu generally peaks in Missouri from December through February.  Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.  Because it takes about 2 weeks before antibodies build up in your system to protect you from the flu, it is important to receive your vaccine prior to flu season (October-May).  Do not wait to get immunized against the flu!


You cannot get the flu from a flu shot. In most cases, individuals receiving the flu vaccination experience no or mild reactions that can include soreness at the shot site, aches, headache, and itching.  Rarely do serious complications occur.  The health professional administering the vaccine will review your health history, and let you know if you should not receive the flu shot.


You have many options to obtain a flu vaccination.  Many physician offices, pharmacies, and health departments offer the flu vaccine, and many insurance companies pay for the injection. The Joplin City Health Department, at 321 E. 4th Street carries influenza vaccine for the uninsured, Medicaid, and many insurances. City residents may call or come by the Joplin Health Department at 321 E. 4th Street, and let us see if you qualify through your insurance.