Seattle Public Schools is opening additional drive-thru flu shot clinics as the coronavirus pandemic makes it even more important for people to get the vaccine this year.
The Student Health Services Department of Seattle Public Schools is working with the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association to host the clinics, which will be open to adults and children older than 4 years old. The clinics will accept all insurance and people who don’t have insurance can get the shot for free.
“Everyone in the community is encouraged to participate,” SPS Health Services Manager Samara Hoag said. “Getting the flu shot helps protect those who are most at-risk for serious complications from contracting the flu.”
The clinics are part of a yearly campaign between SPS and SVNA to provide flu shots to the community. The campaign will run through Oct. 30. Families can sign up in advance to get their flu shots. People can find a complete list of clinics by date and school here.
Public health officials are urging people to get their flu shots this year, warning the flu, combined with the pandemic, could mean more people need to go to the hospital. That has the potential to strain the state’s healthcare system, the Washington State Department of Health said in a news release earlier this year.
“Think of it as essential to get a flu vaccine this year,” Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said last month. “We should all get a flu vaccine now to help protect ourselves and our communities as we navigate this pandemic together.”
There are several opportunities for people to get their flu shots throughout the county, including at the SPS sites.
“Flu vaccine is available everywhere, and many pharmacies now allow younger patients to get vaccinated with their families,” Lofy said. “Our health care workers need everyone’s support – the decision to get a flu vaccine is more important than ever.”
According to SPS, during the first two weeks of its campaign, which was launched last month, more than 10,000 people received their flu shots.
The campaign comes as coronavirus cases have been rising in recent weeks in King County and across the state. According to the most recent complete data from the Washington State Department of Health, King County had 82.1 cases per 100,000 people over the 14 days prior to Oct. 5.