Free flu shots offered in metro

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Want a free flu shot? Many free clinics will be held in the metro over the next month. Health officials encourage you to give the vaccine another shot after last year's version didn't provide much protection.

On Thursday, grown-ups and kids seven and up flowed into the Jack Reardon Civic Center to get a stream of flu vaccine shot into their arms. It was all free at this clinic, thanks to the Mid-America Immunization Coalition, Walgreens and the federal government. The free clinic was the first of many scheduled for both sides of the state line through early November. For 10-year-old Brandon Valenzuela, it was a no-brainer.

"I want to be protected from flu. I don't want to get it," said Brandon.

But how much protection will Brandon and others get? The Centers for Disease Control says last year's vaccine was only 13 percent effective against the strain that caused most of the illness.

"What they do is they predict what the flu strain is going to look like. Well, it mutated to what they didn't know it was going to be," said Amanda Dunning, a pharmacist with Walgreens.

Tombelina Bailey says that didn't stop her from getting a shot this year.

"Things like that happen. You have to take it in stride and just hopefully, just go and do it again," Bailey said.

The CDC says there hasn't been such a mutation so far this year, so the vaccine should offer more protection against the virus. Typically, it's 50 to 60 percent effective.

"Now, it doesn't mean they're not going to get it, but it's going to be better chance that they don't," said Dunning.

She adds that those who get the flu even if they've been vaccinated will have a milder case.

Kirsten Cook says it's why she always gets a flu shot.

"If do feel a little bit ill, it's usually just really brief and I'm still able to work. So that's the most important thing. I want to be able to work," said Cook.

She's armed as flu season can start as early as October and continue through May.

The following free clinics will be held:

Monday-Friday Oct. 5th-9th – 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Mexican Consulate, 1617 Baltimore Ave, Kansas City, MO 64108
Tuesday, Oct. 6th – 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at KCK Community College, 7250 State, Kansas City, Kan. 66112
Thursday, Oct 8th – 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at KCK Community College, 7250 State, Kansas City, Kan. 66112
Thursday, Oct 15th – 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Walgreens at Research Medical Center, 2330 E. Meyer Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64132
Thursday, Oct 22nd – 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at St. Mark Child Development Center, 2008 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, MO 64127
Tuesday, Nov. 3rd -- 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Walgreens Pharmacy, 3845 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111

Kansas Clinics- Must be ages 7 and older to receive vaccination.
Missouri Clinics- Must be ages 12 and older to receive vaccination.