JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With flu season right around the corner and the coronavirus pandemic still persisting, doctors say it is more important than ever to get your flu shot this year.
The Duval County Medical Society Foundation (DCMS) is teaming up with the City of Jacksonville to launch #FluVaxJax with the goal of increasing the rate of flu vaccinations in order to keep local-area hospitals from getting overwhelmed.
"We need to be as proactive as possible at reducing hospitalization rates this fall/winter as we anticipate another wave of COVID19. The flu shot is a proven way to accomplish this,” said Sunil Joshi, M.D., allergist/immunologist and Duval County Medical Society Foundation President.
Flu season tends to occur in the fall and winter with activity peaking between December and February, according to the CDC. DCMS said flu season is usually the time of year when hospitalizations and ICU bed use increases.
"If we add COVID-19 patients to the mix, we may see a point where our hospital systems are not able to add further patients which could then jeopardize the health of our region," DCMS wrote in a news release.
"Minimizing the number of people who have to be hospitalized for the flu in the fall/winter may allow us to have appropriate bed capacity for COVID-19 patients and others requiring hospitalization," they added.
DCMS said the First Coast tends to see about 37 percent vaccination rate. The goal is to increase it up to 48 percent.
Where can you get vaccinated?
The following pharmacies are offering flu vaccinations:
If you want a flu vaccine, but you don't have insurance, click here.
Visit fluvaxjax.com for more information.