ORLANDO, Fla. – Awareness for our health and safety has never been more prominent in the world than during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While we may not have a vaccine to keep us from catching the coronavirus -- we do have a vaccine that can help us from another very contagious disease -- the flu.
Health experts have been stressing the importance of getting the flu shot as the country heads into the winter months and more people spend more time together indoors.
In Orange County, health officials are doing their part to help Floridians get protected from the flu.
The FDOH held a Drive-thru Flu Shot event Saturday at Jones High School where anyone older than six months could drive up and receive a flu shot until 3 p.m.. Best of all, it was completely free.
FDOH-Orange County spokesperson Kent Donahue said no appointments were needed and vaccines were given on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Last year was a very active flu season so we want to be prepared for this year,” Donahue said.
Donahue said an active flu season paired with the coronavirus could challenge the healthcare system.
“Having two respiratory viruses in the community is not good and we certainly want to protect what we can right now for the flu,” he said.
Currently, there isn’t an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Donahue said once we get one, the state health department is ready.
Health officials are using events, like the drive-thru flu shots, to help them prepare to administer a COVID vaccine to the public when it becomes available.
“This event and the other events are part of our practice and training for our staff, our coordination, the logistics, all that goes into this will certainly help us prepare for future events whatever it is,” Donahue said.
But until then, the health department is encouraging everyone to do their part and get the flu shot, adding it’s not too late.
“We want to make sure everybody is protected from these respiratory issues,” Donahue said.
The Orange County Health Department is offering another free flu shots drive-thru event on Saturday, November 14 at Colonial Promenade Mall located at 4308 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.