NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennesseans are urged to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible, in an effort to prevent the "twindemic" of both COVID-19 and influenza.
Thursday, the Tennessee Department of Health kicks off its "Fight Flu TN" vaccination effort. All 95 Tennessee counties will have sites where people can get a free flu shot. There will be 107 sites and many of them will offer drive-thru options.
In Nashville, there are four different sites offering the shot:
- Lentz Public Health Center
- Woodbine Public Health Center
- East Public Health Center
- Murfreesboro Road COVID-19 Assessment Center
Health officials say if Tennesseans get vaccinated it can help them stay healthy and help our hospitals not become overwhelmed.
"If you reduce the incidents of flu you’re going open to up our healthcare facilities to be able to handle the sick individuals they serve every day," said Paul Peterson, the Director of the Tennessee Department of Health's Emergency Preparedness Program.
The department of health says the flu vaccine reduces the chance of hospitalization or death from flu by 40 to 60 percent.
“We know the flu kills," Peterson said. "We know that it may not kill you but if you get the flu and share that someone who has an immune system that is compromised, elderly, or they may be younger than 6 months and can’t get vaccinated. You’re opening risks up to others.”
Health officials are encouraging everyone ages six months and older to get a flu shot. They’re especially encouraging the elderly and pregnant women to get one.
However, high dose flu shots will not be available at the state vaccine sites. People who require one will need to get one at a pharmacy or doctor's office.
To find the closest vaccination site to you, click here.