Free flu shots being given today throughout the state

Free flu shots being given today throughout the state

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Flu shots will be offered at no cost at 55 Parish Health Units across the state on Wednesday, January 31, the Louisiana Department of Health announced.

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The vaccine will be available to anyone who has not received a vaccine this flu season.

"Louisiana is experiencing a severe flu season and the flu strain we are seeing now is one that typically causes more severe illness, and results in higher hospitalization rates and deaths," Dr. Frank Welch, a state immunization medical director said in a news release. "In more severe seasons, the flu causes approximately 700 deaths and nearly 8,000 hospitalizations each year in Louisiana. We are already on track to meet and possibly exceed these statistics for the 2017/18 flu season."

Health officials recommend a yearly flu shot for everyone over six months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as a prior allergic reaction to the flu shot.

The flu shots are scheduled to be distributed from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Community flu clinics will be open to the public, and walk-ups are welcome.

Officials recommend those getting the flu shots to wear short or loose-fitting sleeves. Residents are also asked to bring their private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare card.

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