City of New Orleans to Provide Free Flu Shots Friday, Test Vaccine Administration Plans

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The City of New Orleans will host a free, walk-up flu vaccine event from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11 at First Grace United Methodist Church, 3401 Canal St. In addition to providing flu shots, public health and safety officials are also using this event to test plans for large-scale vaccine administration in anticipation of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine. 

Residents ages six months and older are eligible to receive a free flu vaccine Friday at the church. No identification or health insurance is required and there is no need to pre-register. Vaccines will be given on a first-come, first-served basis until the 1,000 maximum number of flu vaccines is reached.

“There is a growing concern among public health officials that flu season could further strain our already stretched hospital and healthcare resources during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Director, New Orleans Health Department. “That’s why it is especially important this year for all New Orleanians to get their flu shot. With this event, along with more to come, we’re making it as easy as possible to access a free flu vaccine.”  

Officials also anticipate that when COVID 19 vaccines become publicly available and ready for mass distribution in the Spring/Summer of 2021, events like this one will provide guidance on what it takes to facilitate the large-scale administration of the vaccine.

“This walk-up flu shot event will serve as a dry run to help us prepare,” says Collin Arnold, Director, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “This is a great opportunity for us to not only offer flu shots to our residents, but also to test our capabilities.”

The city has partnered with the Louisiana Department of Health, New Orleans Health Department, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, and First Grace United Methodist Church for this event.