Teams from USC’s School of Pharmacy will administer free flu shots to people in Los Angeles beginning in October in anticipation of influenza season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday.
Garcetti referenced recent reports from health experts who fear there could be a surge this fall in the number of hospitalizations due to a second wave of COVID-19 and cases of influenza, which traditionally begin to rise in the fall.
Garcetti said he wanted people to remember what life was like in April when restrictions were tight on going anywhere in public.
“I want us to recall the horrors that we saw playing out on the news, the fears that we had, the scenes that we saw playing out around the world from Manhattan to Milan,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti said the teams from USC would rotate around the city to places in need of flu shots.
Garcetti said although the city’s numbers are going down, he said health officials are worried about a “twin-demic” between influenza and COVID-19.
“Here in this city of angels, you have helped us prevent the worst-case scenario that we saw play out in other places,” Garcetti said.
“But we are not immune from the nightmare that we saw, as we head into the fall, there are things we need to be conscious of right now to make sure that we do our part to protect one another.”
Garcetti said at the USC flu shot sites, people will be asked to provide their medical insurance card, but no one will be turned down for not having one. He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated last year that only half of Americans who could get a flu shot received one.
People can check for flu shot availability and information at coronavirus.lacity.org/flushot.