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Health

Austin Public Health To Host 2 Flu Shot Distributions With Priority For Those Without Insurance

Austin Public Health operates a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site off I-35 in North Austin.
Michael Minasi
/
KUT
Austin Public Health operates a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site off I-35 in North Austin.

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Austin Public Health will be administering about 800 free flu shots at two events in the coming weeks.

Health officials have been urging people to get vaccinated against the flu as flu season and the COVID-19 pandemic converge. A bad flu season combined with a rise in COVID-19 cases could overwhelm local hospitals.

“This year it is more important than ever to get your flu shot,” APH Director Stephanie Hayden said in a press release. “Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community.”

The first vaccine distribution is on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Southeast Branch Library, 5803 Nuckols Crossing Road. APH says it will distribute about 200 flu shots on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will go to those who are uninsured. The health agency recommends people who have insurance find a different location on VaccineFinder.org.

The first event is a walk-up event, and the second will operate as a drive-thru. The drive-thru distribution is Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Travis County Expo Center. About 600 flu shots will be administered.

APH says the two events will serve as practice for when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

“We have begun planning for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and these flu shot events will help us understand the processes we need to have in place to ensure successful rapid distribution,” Dr. Mark Escott, interim Austin-Travis County health authority, said in a press release.

People 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot annually, APH advises. Health officials also recommend people wash their hands often, avoid touching their face, stay home when sick, and wear a mask and social distance in public in order to slow the spread of disease.

Got a tip? Email Marisa Charpentier at mcharpentier@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @marisacharp.

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