7th Largest City Offering Free Flu Shots
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) wants to help prevent the spreading of influenza viruses by giving away free flu vaccinations.
According to a Metro Health press release published on January 7, 2019, free flu vaccines will be available at Metro Health’s immunizations clinics, while supplies last.
This statement indicates there is a limited supply of influenza vaccines available for free in San Antonio, Texas, which has a population over 1.5 million people.
To receive a free flu vaccine, please visit the Metro Health immunization clinics located at 210 N. Mel Waiters Way, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Or, visit 1226 NW 18th Street, by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For questions or to make an appointment, contact the immunization clinic at 210-207-8894.
“Getting the flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from influenza viruses,” says Dr. Anita Kurian, Assistant Director for Communicable Diseases, Metro Health.
“If you haven’t done so already, the time to get the vaccine is now, since we’re in the midst of flu season and the vaccine takes up to 2 weeks to protect you,” said Dr. Kurian.
Influenza vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body which then provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.
And, the seasonal flu can ‘shift and mutate’ each year, which is why there are various flu vaccines available.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each season.
This is important news since 185 pediatric deaths related to influenza were reported to the CDC during the 2017-18 flu season.
And in Texas 17 influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported during the 2017-18 influenza season.
Moreover, 13 pediatric deaths have already been reported during the 2018-19 flu season.
This CDC vaccine recommendation includes pregnant women and individuals with various health conditions.
“Influenza has an abrupt onset while the common cold generally has a gradual onset,” explained Natasha Gildersleeve, PharmD Clinical Pharmacist MTM and Immunization Specialist for Brookshire Grocery Company.
“Both viruses are contagious and therefore it is important to protect people around you if you feel sick.”
“Stay home if at all possible, avoid close contact with other people, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, disinfect frequently touched surfaces and make sure to wash your hands frequently,” continued Gildersleeve.
In the USA, antiviral medications and various flu vaccines are available in most pharmacies, who do charge fees for their products and services.
The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.
And, flu vaccine discounts can be found here.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the CDC.