The Los Angeles County Library, in partnership with the LA County Department of Public Health, will be offering free flu shots at 21 libraries from Oct. 21 through Dec. 6.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that up to 20% of Americans become sick with the flu annually, according to a news statement from the LA County Library. The illness has hit hard in recent years, with almost 80,000 Americans dying during the flu season — which often begins in October — of 2017-18, according to the CDC. It was the worst season since 2009, involving an estimated 960,000 hospitalizations.
There were 117 reported flu deaths in LA County alone during the previous season, according to the LA County Library.
"The wellness of our customers and their families is important to us," said LA County Library Director Skye Patrick in a written statement. "Partnering with LA County Department of Public Health to offer these flu shot clinics at our library locations provides a valuable resource to help keep our customers healthy."
The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older receive the flu vaccine every year. Though most who contract the flu recover in less than two weeks, young children, pregnant women and adults 65 years of age or older are at particular risk of more severe symptoms. The CDC estimated that 7 million illnesses and 8,000 deaths were prevented by flu vaccines during the 2017-18 flu season.
The LA County Library provided 2,170 free flu shots last year.
Because most vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein, those with severe egg allergies are advised to receive the vaccine from a health care provider who has the medical resources to respond to an allergic reaction.
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To view the list of LA County Library locations distributing flu shots, click here. No appointment or insurance is required.