The Ellis County Health Department and Fort Hays State University announced today they are making flu shots available to the people of Ellis County and the FHSU university communities they serve.


"The COVID-19 pandemic remains a tremendous threat to our community, so it is absolutely essential that everyone in our community take a proactive step to ensure that Influenza doesn’t add to the burden on our local health resource," said Ellis County Health Director Jason Kennedy.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,


"Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children."


Flu Shots for Residents of Ellis County


The Ellis County Health Department will offer flu shots beginning on October 1. Residents are asked to call 785.628.9440 and make an appointment for their flu shot. The Ellis County Health Department is open Monday through Thursday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The office is closed each day between Noon and 1:00 p.m.


HaysMed, part of The University of Kansas Health System, will host the annual HaysMed Drive-Thru Flu Shot clinic on Sunday, September 27. The event, which will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will offer free flu shots for all residents older than 6 months.


People age 10 and up can receive their free flu shot without leaving their vehicles and HaysMed volunteers will direct traffic during the event.


Children 6 months through 9 years of age will be vaccinated on the west side of the Center for Health Improvement. Adults attending with children can also receive their shots in the same location.


More than 100 volunteers will be on hand to help with the event. HaysMed partners with Fort Hays State University and North Central Kansas Technical College as both facilities provide students to help with the shots. The event is sponsored by the Hays Medical Center Foundation. While there is no cost for flu shots, participants are asked to bring a canned food item to benefit the Community Assistance Center.


The flu vaccine also is available at HaysMed clinics for patients who are unable to attend the drive-thru flu shot event. Charges will apply at regular clinic visits, though the vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans.


Flu Shots on the campus of Fort Hays State University


Fort Hays State University’s flu shot program will begin on September 24. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get vaccinated for the 2020-2021 flu season at one of seven upcoming Flu Clinic Events.


These events have been organized as part of a joint initiative between the Human Resources Department and the Department of Nursing and the Student Health Center.


The dates, times and locations of the events are:


— Wednesday, September 30, 3:00pm - 6:00pm; Memorial Union Ballroom


— Tuesday, October 6, 7:30am - 10:30am; Memorial Union Stouffer Lounge


— Tuesday, October 6, 3:00pm - 5:30pm; Memorial Union Stouffer Lounge


— Monday, October 19, 2:00pm - 5:00pm; Memorial Union Black & Gold Room


— Wednesday October 28, 7:30am - 10:30am; Memorial Union Ballroom


— Wednesday, November 11, 2:00pm - 5:00pm; Memorial Union Black & Gold Room


For members of the campus community who are unable to attend one of the seven Flu Clinic events, flu shots will be available at certain times in the Student Health Center.


Because Student Health Center staff are currently dealing with COVID-19 testing and patient care, appointments for a flu shot must be scheduled. Members of the FHSU campus community are asked to make an appointment online using Tiger Tracks. The flu vaccine is offered at no cost to all FHSU students. However, most insurance plans pay for the vaccine and the Student Health Center may seek reimbursement for the vaccine from insurance plans to offset the significant cost of the vaccines.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a Vaccine Information Statement with important information that should be reviewed prior to receiving a flu vaccine.


For more information on Flu Clinics at Fort Hays State University, contact the Student Health Center at (785) 628-4293 or at healthcenter@fhsu.edu.