SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio health officials are preparing for the flu season amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and coming up with new ways to get people their flu shot while trying to limit the spread of both viruses.
“What we will be giving is the quadrivalent flu shot, which protects everybody six months and older against two flu A and two flu B viruses,” said Dr. Anita Kurian, assistant director of the Metropolitan Health District.
Metro Health will be hosting drive-thru flu shot clinics in San Antonio this fall.
“They can remain in the cars where registration will be done, Kurian said. “If they have not already registered, registration can be done while they are still in the car, and then they extend that out, and we can give the shot while they are sitting still sitting in the car,” Kurian said.
Kurian said Metro Health is still finalizing where the locations will be. She said the clinics will provide free vaccines for the flu.
“It’s very, very important to get your flu shots, so you can minimize those unnecessary medical visits that could lead to hospitalization, and that could eventually lead to further strain on our health care system,” Kurian said.
Staff members at Heritage Pediatrics are getting ready to have a drive-thru flu clinic next week.
“They’ll pull up. There will be a nurse there, ready to give the shot,” said Dr. John Fitch, pediatrician at Heritage Pediatrics.
Fitch said the clinic has already started giving flu shots to its patients.
“The more people we vaccinate, the less flu there is in the community, the less health care resources have to go to taking care of flu, so we can manage COVID if we were to see another wave as we go into the fall and the winter,” Fitch said.
Kurian said both COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose and sore throat. She said if you have COVID-19, you will have a loss of taste or loss of smell.
Kurian said people who have recovered from COVID-19 can get a flu shot.
“Anybody six months and older is eligible to get the flu shot, should get their flu shot, so we minimize the medical visits, the hospitalizations, and thereby the subsequent strain on our health care system that might occur,” Kurian said.