#FluVaxJax: City kicks off effort to get everyone vaccinated during a pandemic

#FLUVAXJAX Push to get locals vaccinated

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

The City of Jacksonville officially kicked off #FluVaxJax.

It’s the new initiative Action News Jax has been telling you about all week to get more people in Jacksonville and throughout northeast Florida vaccinated.

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Flu season starts in October, but local doctors are hoping people will get their flu shot early, especially while we’re dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think the push is a good idea definitely; we want to prevent as many people from getting sick as possible,” Terri Colbert, a local mother of three, said.

Colbert has three sons and she says every year she always get her flu shot.

“My middle son has severe asthma problems and of course we don’t want to catch the flu and bring that into the house,” she said.

The city says the whole point of FluVaxJax is to reduce the burden on our local hospitals, like Baptist Medical Center.

Getting a flu shot means you might free up a hospital bed that could be used for a COVID-19 patient.

Right now, medical experts are worried about a surge in COVID-19 cases this fall and winter that could overwhelm hospitals that will have to take on flu patients too.

By partnering with the Duval County Medical Society Foundation, Mayor Lenny Curry is hoping to promote the flu vaccine so more people will jump on the initiative and get vaccinated.

“In a normal year, the First Coast has about a 37% adult vaccination rate; with the FluVaxJax campaign we hope to increase the adult flu vaccination rate to 48% or more,” Mayor Curry said.

The campaign is also helping those in underserved communities or without insurance with free vaccine vouchers.

“We would like for the uninsured to go to the ‘get vaccinated’ section, put in their email and their zip code and we’ll connect them with the pharmacy nearest to their home where they might be able to get that voucher,” Dr. Sunil Joshi with the Jacksonville Medical Society Foundation said.

Colbert told us she believes everyone should get a vaccine.

“Me nor my sons have never gotten sick after getting the flu shot,” she said.

More information on this initiative can be found by clicking HERE. https://www.dcmsonline.org/page/FluVaxjax