The administrative fee for vaccines through the state’s public health system is being waived in an effort to get more low income people protected from flu this season.
Rhonda Richmeier, the chief of Public Health Nursing for the state, says the free vaccines are being offered because there are already been a number of hospitalizations from flu this year.
“We’re concerned, we don’t know for sure yet, but we are concerned that this may be an earlier and more severe flu season and because of that, we really want to make sure we’re making it as easy as possible for all Alaskans to get their flu vaccine,” she said.
Richmeier says the free vaccines will be available at any public health center around the state to anyone eligible for state purchased vaccine. That’s anyone under the age of three.
“For anyone age three and older, we can only vaccinate people at our state Public Health centers if they do not have health insurance or they have a health insurance that doesn’t cover vaccines or they are uninsured, underinsured,” Richmeier said.
The free vaccines will be offered until the end of December. It takes 10 days after the shot to get full protection from the flu.