Galveston Co. offers free flu shots to combat worst season in years

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Looking at ways to prevent the flu during one of the worst flu seasons in eight years. (KTRK)

Galveston County is seeing huge numbers of confirmed flu cases this year.

The county is reporting more than 3,100 confirmed cases compared to around 360 cases at this time last year.

The CDC is calling this the worst flu season in eight years. Dozens of people around the country have died from the flu this year, including at least 30 children.

The strain that's getting more people sick is H3N2.

Monday morning, the county is beginning to give out free flu vaccines.

Health officials hope the young, elderly, and those with chronic conditions who are at higher risk will get the flu shot.

Still, a lot of questions remain about the effectiveness of this year's flu shot.

ABC News reported that the shot is only about 10 percent effective against the H3N2 strain of the virus in Australia.

The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to wash your hands and stay away from people you may suspect have symptoms.

"In terms of transmitting the flu, the flu virus can travel up to at least six feet. And that's by coughing, sneezing, breathing or talking. So keep your distance," says ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton.

Medical experts say there is one thing that is more effective than the flu shot: Getting a preventative dose of Tamiflu.

"If someone has been exposed to a person who has known or suspected influenza, data suggests that it can reduce the chances of that person getting sick themselves by up to as much as 80 percent. So there are multiple uses for those antiviral medications, and they are available in generic form," said Dr. Ashton.


It's always important to consult your doctor first.

Free flu shots will be offered in Galveston County all week.

A free clinic will also be held at the Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department.

Flu vaccines will be available at the following locations:

Monday, January 22
8 a.m.-5 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City
1 p.m.-3 p.m.: Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department, 1806 Broadway Avenue (Loop 108), Port Bolivar

Tuesday, January 23
8 a.m.-7 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City
9 a.m.-1 p.m., Friendswood Chamber of Commerce, 1100 S Friendswood Dr, Friendswood

Wednesday, January 24
8 a.m.-5 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City
11 a.m.-4 p.m.: His Touch Worship Center, 2371 E Bay Shore Drive, San Leon

Thursday, January 25
8 a.m.-5 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City

Friday, January 26
8 a.m.-5 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City
1 p.m.-5 p.m.: Santa Fe ISD Administration Building, 4133 Warpath Avenue, Santa Fe

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