Free Flu Vaccinations Offered In Austin This Weekend

AUSTIN, TX — Travis County residents will have two convenient opportunities to receive free flu vaccinations on Saturday, Central Health officials said.

With the arrival of flu season, public health officials are urging residents to get their flu shot now — especially as the county and state continue to see an upward trend in cases of COVID-19. While the flu and virus that causes COVID-19 are different viruses, they result in many similar symptoms and can both cause serious health complications, health officials noted. This is especially true for those who are considered high-risk, including individuals with chronic health conditions, the elderly, and pregnant women, officials added. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu vaccine for everyone six months and older.

Those who have health insurance should bring their insurance card so their carrier can be billed directly, with no out-of-pocket costs for individuals. Free vaccines are available for those without insurance. Because the flu and COVID-19 are easily spread from person to person, Central Health is also reminding everyone to stay vigilant about wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), washing or sanitizing hands often, and watching their distance with others — keeping at least six feet between themselves and coworkers, close friends and family outside of their household.

EVENTS

Halloween Themed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Distribution

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Ojeda Middle School, 4900 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744.

Del Valle Community Coalition and the Austin Latino Coalition are hosting a Halloween-themed event with walk-up and drive-through options available. There will be free flu shots, PPE and candy for the community. Children must be at least seven years old to receive a flu shot at this event. Additional details here.

The sponsors for this event are Austin Latino Coalition; Del Valle Community Coalition; HEB; Austin Public Health; and Central Health.

Boo the Flu (Drive-thru Event)

Noon to 3 p.m. Travis Early College High School, 1211 E. Oltorf St., Austin, TX 78704.

The annual Boo the Flu event, sponsored by Central Health-affiliated Sendero Health Plans, will take place with strict safety guidelines. Visitors can receive a flu vaccine while remaining in their car, as well as get free PPE and Halloween treats. Additional information can be found here.

The sponsors for this event are Sendero Health Plans; Austin Public Health; Austin Independent School District; Ascension Seton; Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; City of Austin; El Mundo; City of Austin; and Travis County Constable – Precinct 4.

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch

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South Korea urges people to get flu vaccinations despite concerns about deaths

South Korean commuters wear protective masks as they crowd after getting off the subway during rush hour on September 15, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.

Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images

South Korea urged citizens to get vaccinated against influenza and reduce the chances of an outbreak that coincides with the battle on the coronavirus, as it kicked off free inoculations for the last eligible group.

Public anxiety over the safety of flu vaccines has surged after at least 48 people died this month following vaccinations, while, last month, about 5 million doses had to be disposed of after not being stored at recommended temperatures.

Authorities have said they found no direct link between the deaths and the flu shots and have sought to reassure South Koreans about the safety of the vaccines against flu, a disease that kills at least 3,000 each year.

“Vaccination offers far greater benefits compared to side effects, and both the WHO and domestic and overseas experts agree,” Health Minister Park Neung-hoo told a briefing on Sunday, in a reference to the World Health Organization.

Last year, more than 1,500 elderly people died within seven days of receiving flu vaccines, but those deaths were not linked to the vaccinations, the government said.

As South Korea presses on with its inoculations, southeast Asia’s tiny city state of Singapore became one of the first nations this week to call a temporary halt to the use of two influenza vaccines, as a precaution.

Singapore has reported no deaths linked to flu vaccinations.

South Korea ordered 20% more flu vaccines this year to ward off the prospect of what it calls a “twindemic” of concurrent major flu and coronavirus outbreaks in winter.

At least 1,154 instances of adverse reactions have been reported from among more than 9.4 million people inoculated since the effort began in September.

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South Korea urges people to get flu vaccinations despite death tolls

By Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea urged citizens to get vaccinated against influenza and reduce the chances of an outbreak that coincides with the battle on the coronavirus, as it kicked off free inoculations for the last eligible group.

Public anxiety over the safety of flu vaccines has surged after at least 48 people died this month following vaccinations, while, last month, about 5 million doses had to be disposed of after not being stored at recommended temperatures.

Authorities have said they found no direct link between the deaths and the flu shots and have sought to reassure South Koreans about the safety of the vaccines against flu, a disease that kills at least 3,000 each year.

“Vaccination offers far greater benefits compared to side effects, and both the WHO and domestic and overseas experts agree,” Health Minister Park Neung-hoo told a briefing on Sunday, in a reference to the World Health Organization.

Last year, more than 1,500 elderly people died within seven days of receiving flu vaccines, but those deaths were not linked to the vaccinations, the government said.

As South Korea presses on with its inoculations, southeast Asia’s tiny city state of Singapore became one of the first nations this week to call a temporary halt to the use of two influenza vaccines, as a precaution.

Singapore has reported no deaths linked to flu vaccinations.

South Korea ordered 20% more flu vaccines this year to ward off the prospect of what it calls a “twindemic” of concurrent major flu and coronavirus outbreaks in winter.

At least 1,154 instances of adverse reactions have been reported from among more than 9.4 million people inoculated since the effort began in September.

(Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps)

(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Clarence Fernandez)

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