INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Walgreens and L.A. Care teamed up for a free flu shot clinic and vaccination class in Inglewood. The goal was to educate and provide access to the vaccine to community members.
Walgreens pharmacist, Robert Ramirez stressed the importance of getting the annual vaccination to the class attendees.
"It helps to protect them as well as family members and you want to make sure you get it, because sometimes you could get some secondary conditions after the flu, which are bacterial," Ramirez said. "Which could lead to pneumonia, hospitalizations, which could have been minimized by getting the flu shot"
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the 2017-2018 flu season was at or above the 19-week national baseline, making it the longest in recent years. The free clinic at L.A. Care was an attempt to get ahead of this year's flu season.
"It's important that people get their immunizations, especially like the flu shot which is an annual immunization," Ramirez said. "It helps to reduce the risk of spreading the flu."
Getting the flu shot doesn't necessarily mean you won't get the flu. Your body needs at least two weeks after you get the shot to build up antibodies against the virus.
"In the meantime, from when you get your flu shot until two or three weeks down the line, you are susceptible to maybe, possibly getting the flu," Ramirez said. "Again, though, to help prevent that, taking the proper precautions by constantly washing your hands during the active flu season and keeping your hands away from your mouth and your nose."
Community resident, Bolajoko Finnih said an event like the one at L.A. Care is good not only to educate but also because it makes the vaccine more accessible.
"It helps everybody, especially those who can't afford it, you know, who don't have insurance."
L.A. Care will be offering more flu shot clinics throughout September for free and Walgreens is offering free flu shots with most insurance as well.
Inglewood family health center prepares community for upcoming flu season with free resources