Florida Blue giving out free flu shots in effort to combat racial disparities in healthcare

Flu Shot & Race

Jacksonville,FL. — Racial disparities in health are prompting some local health care providers to reach out to the community to urge them to get their flu shot.

“During 2018 and 2019, the flu season, less than 4 in 10 Black men and also Hispanics were vaccinated, compared to half of their white counterparts,” Courtney Harris with Florida Blue said.

A study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that white people (66.6%) were more likely to self-report having received vaccination than were African Americans (43.3%) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361154/)

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In an effort to help, Florida Blue is partnering with Walgreens to provide free flu shots on Wednesday at the St. Johns Town Center.

“We’re really out to help these communities,” Harris said.

The drive-thru and walk-up event will be from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

If your insurance does not cover the cost of the flu shot, Walgreens will pick up the tab, according to a Florida Blue representative.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is urging everyone to get their flu shot by the end of October.

The reason being, even the most mild version of the flu, could stagger hospitals.

So far in Duval, Clay, St. Johns and Nassau County 96,495 people have received the flu vaccine.

That’s 13.75% of the adult population among those four counties, according to the health department.

“We have a global pandemic going on, and we’re right on the cusp of flu season,” Harris said.

“So, we want to make sure that we’re not overburdening the health care system.”