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City offers 1,000 free flu vaccines

As more flu shot drives are expected to take place soon, Laredo Health Department officials urge people to take advantage of the clinics as this year it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated.
Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 10:47 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - With the start of influenza season just around the corner, many are rushing to get their vaccines before the virus hits them.

Wednesday morning, hundreds got up bright and early for a free flu shot.

The seasonal flu typically picks up in October, and health officials have been urging people to not only get vaccinated but to do it as soon as possible.

The line wrapped around several blocks as those inside their cars waited to get their flu shot.

“This is the first time I come to something like this and it is surprising to see a lot of people.”

For some the wait was more than two hours, but once at the first of the line it was smooth process.

“It’s really safe. Not only for the public but also for the person administrating the shot because you don’t need to get out of your vehicle.”

With only a few days away until the start of the flu season, the City of Laredo set up a free flu vaccination drive-thru on Wednesday.

Martha Garza showed up bright and early in hopes of getting one of the 1,000 vaccines available.

“I wanted to be here today just to prevent the flu this year, because of all the pandemic stuff that is going on,” said Martha.

It’s a unique time in which the pandemic and flu season are set to line up at the same time.

The push for vaccination by the city comes in hopes of preventing cases of co-infection a situation that medical exerts know little about while also avoiding a burden on the healthcare system even more during the pandemic.

“So what we want is that everyone to have their immune system healthy,” said Amelia Solis. “So we want everyone to get their vaccination because if they’re protecting themselves against the flu, their immune system is going to be much better in case they come in contact with COVID-19."

Laredo Health Director Richard Chamberlain says the overlap of symptoms for both illnesses can cause a lot of confusion, and being vaccinated could help when assessing whether someone has the flu or COVID-19.

“COVID-19 does have other symptoms that are generally not experience with influenza such as the diarrhea, loss of taste, and the loss of sense and smell,” said Chamberlain.

As more flu shot drives are expected to take place soon, Laredo Health Department officials urge people to take advantage of the clinics as this year it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated.

“In the past I know people are hesitant about the flu vaccine, but like we always like to emphasize, no vaccine is 100% but any percentage is better than zero.”

Although there is still no vaccine available for COVID-19, officials say this flu drive served as an inside look into what they need to do when one does hit the market.

The Laredo Health Department says all 1,000 vaccines available were given out.

Staff, TAMIU nursing students, and paramedics all helped in administering the shots.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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