Tuesday, January 30, 2018

San Antonio's Flu Epidemic is So Bad, the City's Giving Shots Away for Free

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 3:56 PM

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We've gotten to that point in this unusually awful flu season where city officials have started dishing out flu shots for free. And with 2,300 flu-related deaths in Texas so far, it's not worth ignoring.

On Tuesday morning, Metro Health announced it would be offering free flu shots on a first come, first serve basis to anyone with a state-approved ID.

"This has been a particularly tough flu season so far," said Dr. Anita Kurian, assistant director for Metro Health's Communicable Diseases department. "The season still has a ways to go so it’s not too late to get your flu vaccine today."

People with weaker immune systems — like children, the elderly, or those with an auto-immune disease — are the most vulnerable to the virus.

According to KSAT, the Children's Hospital of San Antonio has seen a 25 percent jump in ER visits so far in 2018 because of the flu. At least one child has died in Bexar County this season due to flu-related complications.

There are no proven downsides to getting the flu shot, aside from a few rare side effects. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report  that somewhere between 12,000 to 56,000 people die from the flu each year.

The flu season typically peaks December through February but can last until May — and a flu shot takes about two weeks to fully settle in your immune system.

Sure, this particularly nasty strain of the virus is a little more resistant to the vaccine than usual, but now that damn near everyone can access the shot without paying a penny — it's time to suck it up.

Yes, that includes you, Nico LaHood.

Swing by the immunization clinic at 1226 NW 18th St. between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for a free shot.

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