Free flu vaccines available for those who still need them

Free flu vaccines available for those who still need them

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Everyone who needs a flu shot can now get one without letting the cost stop you.

The flu crisis South Carolina is so serious that state Department of Health and Environmental Control officials said the agency would waive the fee for you to get your flu shot at DHEC clinics.

However, on Wednesday morning, some people were still being told a $25 administration fee may still be charged. DHEC spokesman Tim Kelly said there was a miscommunication and DHEC officials are working to notify all DHEC clinics that the fee should be waived.

Across the Lowcountry, there are four DHEC clinics you can go to in Moncks Corner, Summerville, Goose Creek, and North Charleston.

"We are doing this because flu is still a large problem in our community and we don't want cost to be a barrier for those seeking flu vaccine to protect themselves," said Dr. Katy Richardson, a medical director with DHEC.

It's not just the issue of paying for the vaccine that people are running into.

In South Carolina, there have been shortages of flu kits, masks, Tamiflu, and now vaccines.

This after nearly 60,000 flu cases have been reported.

"We are seeing that pharmacies and some physician offices are running low on flu vaccine and we wanted to make sure it's available for all who want to protect themselves," said Richardson. "It is one of the most severe seasons we have seen in an awhile."

Across the state, there have been more than 2,000 people hospitalized from the flu.

With so many families feeling the impacts, Richardson says the free vaccines can shorten the flu before you get it.

"This is a way not only to protect yourself but those who are most vulnerable around you including the very young, the very old, and those with chronic medical conditions," said Richardson.

All you have to do is call 855-472-3432 to set up your appointment.

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