Chicago holds 1st of 4 free flu shot clinics this week

CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, it's not too late - and you can get it for free.

"When you get the flu shot you protect your whole family," said Arlene Jackson, nurse.

The Chicago Department of Public Health welcomed a steady stream of people at its first free flu shot clinic Monday inside the Mexican Consulate. Three other clinics follow this week, part of a city-wide push to get people immunized before peak flu season arrives.

"They said it was going to be free," said Ana Medina, who came in for a flu shot. "I told my parents, you want to come, because they don't have insurance and I don't either. So we decided do come."

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people get the flu shot by the end of October, but health officials said it is never too late. It is especially important for seniors, toddlers and people with compromised immune systems to get vaccinated.

"Even though we said 'get it by the end of October' because the flu season seemed like it was coming early, it takes a little bit of time to get your immunity from the shot, so if the flu season peaks in January, now is the time to get it," said Dr. Marielle Fricchione, Chicago Department of Public Health. "We wanted to make sure that high-dose and standard dose vaccine was available for everyone, so we're protecting people over the age of 65 and then everyone 6 months and up."

There will be three more free flu shot clinics in Chicago this week:

- Tuesday, December 3 on the 2nd floor of City Hall (121 N. La Salle Street) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Tuesday, December 3 at Midwest Asian Health Center (230 W. Cermak Road) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Saturday, December 7 at the Englewood Whole Foods (832 W. 63rd Street) from 9 a.m.to 2 p.m.

Click here for more information about CDPH's free flu shot clinics.
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