OKLAHOMA CITY - Flu season is officially upon us, and starting Monday, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department will be offering free flu shots.
“People think that flu vaccine or the flu is just a little bug that I’ll catch, but it can actually lead to hospitalizations or pneumonia. It’s not just some little bug that’s around,” said clinical operations manager Kerri Stewart.
In the past year, 88 people across the state died and another 3,000 were hospitalized.
That's why health officials are urging the public to get their shots at one of their three clinic locations:
- 63rd & MLK
- 59th and Walker
- NW 10th and Meridian
All of their locations are carrying the vaccination for free.
“This is something that is important to our board. Our board has decided that we should provide this for our community and our county so that’s what we’ve been doing,” said Stewart.
Stewart says last year, just in the month of October, they administered 530 shots.
This year, they're hoping for even more.
“We encourage everyone to receive flu vaccine because it protects not only you, but other people in the community who can not receive it,” she said.
On Tuesday, OCCHD will be participating in a full-scale disaster exercise. It's to practice responding as quickly as possible to a public health emergency.
“We are part of a statewide emergency preparedness exercise,” said Stewart.
The department also says that you cannot get the flu from your shot.
Stewart says that's one of the top reasons people don't get vaccinated.
“Some people will have a little bit of an immune response, so you might have a little headache 24 hours later, feel maybe a little off, but it is not the flu,” she said.
You can find more information about this season's flu on the CDC website here.
On Tuesday, you can get your shot at the Oklahoma State Fair Park from 9am-1pm.
They'll give out free shots at The Pavilion, and you can park at Gate 5: Stagecoach & Gordon Cooper Blvd.
On Wednesday, they will resume normal clinic hours, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m.-12 p.m.