San Antonio flu activity is on the rise and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) wants to help by giving away free flu vaccine. Currently, after a slow start, Metro Health is seeing flu activity levels consistent with an average flu season. No pediatric flu-related deaths have been reported.

A person receives the seasonal influenza vaccine (flu shot). Imahe/NIAID
A person receives the seasonal influenza vaccine (flu shot).

“Getting the flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. 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 two weeks to protect you,” says Dr. Anita Kurian, Assistant Director for Communicable Diseases, Metro Health.

Free flu vaccines will be available at Metro Health’s immunizations clinics, while supplies last. To receive a free flu vaccine, please visit the Metro Health immunization clinics located at 210 N. Mel Waiters Way, open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 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.

Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each season. Pregnant women and individuals with underlying health conditions should get the protection as early as possible.

The flu vaccine is the first step in protecting yourself from the flu. Additionally, people should wash their hands often, and ensure others at home maintain the same hand-washing standards. Sneeze or cough into your elbow instead of your hands. Distance yourself from others and stay home if you start feeling sick because you may already be contagious.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates thousands of individuals die from the flu. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: Fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.