ROUND ROCK, Texas - On Saturday, hundreds lined up outside Baylor Scott & White in Round Rock as they waited for their flu shots. Baylor Scott & White says that in just four hours, they gave out nearly 5,000 flu shots.
With COVID-19 and the flu season potentially lining up at the same time, some who got their flu shots Saturday said it was especially important to not only protect themselves but those around them.
Christopher Saenz and his daughter were among those who got their shots Saturday. "No matter what the wait, we were going to be here," he said.
The line wrapped around the parking lot as those inside their cars waited to get their shot, and while convenience was a major factor, Saenz says the well-being of those around was more important.
"People can drive up, they can stay in their car, they get their flu vaccine, they can drive off," Saenz said. "We just want to make sure everyone is safe and all those around us."
Dr. Bradley Berg, a pediatrics section chief with Baylor, Scott & White, says flu season typically peaks in October, but with COVID-19 looming this year there could be additional risks. "We think in the next five months, we will see a surge of both COVID and influenza," he said.
That's why he stresses the importance of the vaccine. "With COVID out there, you may have a higher likelihood of contracting it if you get the flu," he said.
That's because when a person gets sick, their immune system weakens, making them more vulnerable to different viruses, including coronavirus. "Preventing the flu is going to be doubly important not only to protect yourself but to protect the hospital infrastructure, keep people out of the hospital, and prevent the spread of both the flu and COVID going forward," said Berg.
Saenz says the main message this time of year is everyone has to do their part. "It's important family-wise that we're all doing our part to help keep everybody safe," he said.
While Dr. Berg says getting a vaccine can help with symptoms or help protect you from getting the flu at all, it's still a possibility that even if you get the vaccine, you could still get the flu. That's why it's important to keep social distancing and practice proper hygiene. "Those are always going to be the front line activities that you can do to prevent the spread of the flu and COVID over the upcoming months," he said.
Baylor Scott & White will be offering another round of drive-thru flu shots on Saturday, October 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations:
- Baylor Scott & White Clinic - Austin North Burnet: 2608 Brockton Drive, Austin 78758
- Baylor Scott & White Clinic - Austin Oak Hill: 5251 West US Highway 290, Austin, 78735
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