Health experts offering free flu shots as flu season continues

Thirty-four percent of US parents said their child was unlikely to get the flu vaccine this year, according to a report published Monday by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

OKLAHOMA CITY –As flu season ramps up, health officials are hoping a free flu shot clinic will stop it from spreading across the Sooner State.

On Wednesday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported that there have been 84 hospitalizations since the start of the flu season in September. During that same time span, three people have died from the virus.

“It is important to stay home from holiday gatherings if you have symptoms of influenza which are fever, chills, body aches, and a cough or sore throat,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. “It is better to miss out on some holiday fun than risk infecting others. Flu can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and those who have underlying health conditions such as asthma and other lung diseases.”

Experts say flu activity will likely increase between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the health department says there is still time to get a flu shot to avoid the illness.

A free flu shot clinic will be held Thursday, Nov. 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Gary Cox Partner Building, located at 2700 N.E. 63rd St. in Oklahoma City.

Vaccines are also offered on a walk-in basis Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Gary Cox Partner Building and the OCCHD South Health Clinic, located at 2149 S.W. 59th St., Suite 104 in Oklahoma City.

Public health officials recommend following these prevention tips:

  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and getting a full night’s rest.
  • Wash hands frequently using soap and water, or alcohol-based products such as hand gels when hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Use tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of them and wash your hands immediately. When tissues are not readily available, cough into your sleeve, not your hands.
  • Stay home from work, school and other public places when feeling ill.