With the flu season swiftly approaching and COVID-19 still a threat, Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday announced a new partnership with USC to urge more Angelenos to get flu shots in hopes of avoiding a “twindemic.”
Starting Tuesday, free flu shots are being offered to Angelenos through the city’s new program with the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy which makes the vaccine more widely available to residents.
Garcetti said the flu shots have the ability to lessen the likelihood of a “twindemic,” or a scenario where flu and coronavirus cases and patients put a strain on communities, hospitals and the economy.
“Every year the flu affects some people in a very extreme way and those hospital beds can become competitive between COVID-19 patients and flu patients and overwhelm our hospitals,” Garcetti said at a news conference at the Weingart East L.A. YMCA in Boyle Heights.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should start getting a flu shot now, before flu season begins, according to USC School of Pharmacy Dean Vassilios Papadopoulos.
“It is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading these coming months. So this year, it is more important than ever to get a flu vaccine,” Papadopoulos said. “Not only does it protect you and your loved ones from the flu, but as the mayor said, it also makes sure healthcare resources are available for the care of patients affected by COVID-19.”
Appointments are not needed for the free flu shots through the program.
The shots will be given on Wednesday at the Weingart East L.A. YMCA, located at 2900 Whittier Blvd., from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program or finding a new location can visit coronavirus.lacity.org/flushot. New sites will be added weekly.
Each mobile flu shot site will apply all necessary COVID-19 precautions to protect staff and patients.
Anyone infected with COVID-19, or those who have COVID-19 symptoms should not get a flu shot until after they recover, end self-isolation and consult a medical professional.