Hundreds turn out for free flu shots
DORCHESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- In Boston, there are nearly two dozen free flu clinics this weekend following a public health emergency declared by Mayor Menino on Wednesday.
The flu clinics opened early Saturday and the lines for a shot in Dorchester just kept growing.
“In the first half hour we gave out over 100 vaccines. We expect that trend to continue throughout the day,” said an employee at the Dorchester House.
This weekend in Boston alone, the city is holding 22 free flu clinics.
Tracey Scott and her daughter were among the first to arrive.
“The flu is very dangerous this year and we wanted to make sure she was vaccinated and keeping the other kids in school safe,” said Scott.
And for Sydney Scott, the quick shot was worth it.
“So I could stay in school and so I wouldn’t have to be put out of school because of the flu,” said Sydney Scott.
“There have been several kids at both of my children’s school coughing with the fevers, so we know it’s dangerous and they’re going to be exposed to it, so we wanted to make sure they’re protected,” said Tracey Scott.
College students returning from winter break are worried about catching the flu as well.
“Probably with all the exposure and being in close quarters,” said Jansen Manning, Berklee student.
Classes at Boston University begin on Wednesday, so student, Stephanie Smith, got a flu shot in hopes of staying healthy.
“I just don’t want to spread it or have it spread to me and I just want to avoid it as much as possible,” said Smith.
Boston declared a public health emergency because of growing flu fears. There are 750 confirmed cases in Boston already this season, ten times as many as last season. Health officials said six have already died in Boston from flu-like symptoms, including a young child.
“This is a good, preventative way to prevent getting the flu and we advise as many people that haven’t had their flu shot to come to Dorchester House and get their shot,” said an employee at the Dorchester House.
The flu this season is so bad, nearly a quarter of reported cases in Boston have led to some form of hospitalization and the flu is responsible for more than four percent of all visits city-wide to the emergency room.
“Our goal this weekend is to stop the spread of this outbreak of flu,” said Mari Bentley, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.
There will be more free flu clinics on Sunday. For a full list, click here.