Annual #FluVaxJax campaign helps bust myths and raise awareness of free flu shots vouchers

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Since May 2022, when the traditional flu season ended, 21 flu outbreaks have been reported in Florida.

It is a miserable disease that is also dangerous.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated from October 2021 to last June that 8 to 13 million people contracted the flu.

Between 2.7 million and 6 million people had to see their doctor and 5,000 to 14,000 deaths were linked to the flu.

The best way to reduce these numbers is to get vaccinated.

The #FluVaxJax campaign officially launched for the third year on Wednesday to rally the community to protect as many people as possible from a serious or life-threatening case of the flu.

Dr. Sunil Joshi, president of the Duval County Medical Society Foundation, joins us to discuss how to request vouchers for free flu shots and why patients say they won’t get the shot. against the flu.

RELATED: #FluVaxJax cover

Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties are participating in the community effort led by the Duval County Medical Society Foundation.

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The campaign helps get the message across that if you have health insurance, the flu shot is 100% covered. And if you are uninsured, you can request a voucher for a FREE shot.

“The flu can be very disabling. And so people can have serious illness requiring hospitalization, intensive care admissions and even death,” said Dr. Sunil Joshi, president of the Duval County Medical Society Foundation,

Joshi said nearly 2,400 people have died from the flu this year, and we’re still looking at crucial months for the virus. Traditionally, the highest numbers come in February, but the drop is not to be ignored.

“So our flu season here in Northeast Florida is usually December, January, February and maybe starts to wind down in late March and April. So if you get your shot in September, you’re really still at a pretty good level through March,” Joshi said.

RELATED: It’s time to get your annual flu shot

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Joshi also busted one of the #1 vaccine myths – that if you get vaccinated, you’ll get the flu. He said it was impossible because it was not a live virus. He said it’s just your immune system reacting and making antibodies that will eventually fight off the flu if you’re ever exposed.

“It’s not the flu that’s causing this, it’s your immune system’s reaction to the vaccine that’s causing this. And that’s very normal. You can expect that to happen. But usually these symptoms go away pretty quickly, within 24 hours, whereas the flu itself can last for weeks,” Joshi said.

The #FluVaxJax initiative ensures that anyone who wants a vaccine has access to it. If you have insurance, you won’t have to pay. If you don’t, it could cost between $30 and $50 for each dose. But thanks to this campaign, the vouchers will cover everyone who needs a free injection and connect people to a convenient location to get it.

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If you would like more information on the free vouchers available to the uninsured, Click here.

You will only need to provide your email address, postal code and they will contact you to ensure that you have access to a free vaccine.

Vaccines are recommended for anyone 6 months or older. Some children need two doses. The second would come four weeks after that initial dose.

RELATED: Is your child ready for flu season?

Flu vaccination reduced the risk of serious and life-threatening flu in children by 75%.

It takes about two weeks for antibodies to form to provide protection against the flu.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All Rights Reserved.

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