County Delivers Free Flu Shots to Hard Hit Katy Area

 

CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News)—It’s still flu season, and it’s not too late to get your flu shot. Many Katy-area residents got free flu shots Saturday at Katy Junior High School, 5350 Franz Road.

Harris County Public Health, a county agency, organized the event. Martha Marquez, an agency spokesperson, said future events are planned for San Jacinto, Humble, and Deer Park.

The agency has been giving free shots at its offices around Harris County, Marquez said, but Saturday’s event was the first in which the county has come out to the citizens.

William Hudson, a project administrator, said the goal was to get 250 people to come in and get a flu shot. By late afternoon, he said, 263 people had come to get free shots.

The event went well because it was staged so people could come in, complete the paperwork, get their shots, and leave. There was no waiting area, Hudson said.

People of all ages were getting shots on Saturday. They ranged from six-month-old children to senior citizens.

“We’ve had a very nice turnout,” Marquez said.

Flu season runs from October to May. Marquez said that the first flu cases were being reported last September. She said that the flu is a non-reportable disease, and as such, the county tracks lab reports, data from schools for students missing because of flu-like symptoms, and from emergency room visits.

She said those numbers have been very significant this year. The county has been targeting areas in Harris County that have higher activity, and Katy is one of those areas.

Getting a flu shot every year—necessary because the flu virus continually changes—is the best way to prevent the possible spread of the flu according to medical experts. A parent getting a shot helps prevent it from spreading to children.

Some people look at the calendar and figure that a shot is unnecessary because flu season is almost over. But this would be a mistake according to the experts.

“There’s still a lot of flu activity,” Marquez said.

Marquez said that other ways of prevention include covering one’s mouth when coughing or sneezing, washing hands often, and staying home if feeling sick.

Officials worked with the Katy Independent School District to arrange use of the junior high school.

“They’ve been very supportive,” Marquez said.

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