Free flu shots being offered Thursday in Hampton

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – Free flu shots are being offered this Thursday at the Hampton Health Department.

This is the latest effort on the part of health officials to curb this year’s unusually severe flu epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has upgraded the flu to the status of an epidemic, reporting that this flu season is among the worst on record. According to the CDC, children are being hit especially hard, with 53 pediatric deaths from the flu being reported nationwide.

The CDC recommends an annual vaccine for adults and children 6 months and up. The Hampton Health Department will vaccinate children ages 3 and up this Thursday.

Deputy Health Director Elizabeth Webster, M.D., of the Peninsula/Hampton Health Districts, stated in a news release, “This year’s flu has been an especially severe strain and we are urging all area residents who have not had a flu vaccine to get one. It’s not too late to help protect from and lessen the effects of the flu, and [the] vaccine is still available.”

The free vaccines will be are available Thursday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the regional office located at 3130 Victoria Boulevard.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Proper hand washing is the best technique for keeping flu from spreading,” Webster said. “If you do get sick, stay home from work or school until you recover. In addition, prescription antiviral medications may help treat the flu.”

The Hampton Health Department is also reminding the public to seek medical care immediately upon the onset of any symptoms that resemble the flu.

For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza-flu-in-virginia.