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Free flu shots offered Thursday

Posted: 5:57 PM, Oct 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-23 19:21:07-04

There will be a Flu Vaccine Clinic & Health Fair Thursday at the Lafayette Parish Health Unit.

It’s a good opportunity to get a flu shot; last year’s flu season was a bad one.

“Last year we had almost three times the hospitalizations and deaths in Louisiana, and that was really true nationwide. It was a very severe flu season,” says LDH Regional Medical Director Dr. Tina Stefanski. “We know getting a flu shot is your best protection.”

The event will be held from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the health unit, 220 West Willow, Building A in Lafayette.

The health fair will offer free stroke education, speech and hearing screening, fall risk screening and education, meal planning and preparation information, blood pressure screening and flu shots.

Flu shots are free with proof of insurance. Bring your private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare card and it’s free. If you don’t have insurance, it’s only $10.

“If you haven’t been vaccinated, we hope you take advantage of this opportunity,” Stefanski said. “You can just walk in and get vaccinated.”

If it’s raining, a station will be set up outside so visitors can get a “drive-thru” flu shot under an overhang, she added.

For more information call 337-262-5311  or visit www.ldh.la.gov/FightTheFlu

The flu causes approximately 500 deaths and nearly 3,000 hospitalizations each year in Louisiana. However, last year, there were more than 15,000 hospitalizations and more than 1,600 deaths from the flu in the state. Of those more than 1,600 deaths, 5 were pediatric deaths.

Flu Shot Facts

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Health recommend a yearly flu shot for everyone over 6 months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as a prior allergic reaction to the flu shot.
  • A flu shot is especially crucial for people who may be at higher risk for serious complications. This includes babies and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and people 65 years and older.
  • The flu shot is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, who can pass on antibodies to their babies that will help protect them.
  • The flu shot starts to offer partial protection immediately but takes about two weeks to offer full protection.
  • Flu shots are also available at local pharmacies, clinics, doctor’s offices and federally qualified (community) health centers. Check flushot.healthmap.org for a flu shot provider near you.