Flu clinics pop up to tackle low vaccination rate

Posted at 5:55 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 19:08:59-04

BALTIMORE — While flu activity in Maryland is still low, it’s starting to increase and there are more cases now than this time last year.

"A lot of people are coming back to work, coming back to school. We are certainly getting more exposure to each other," said Dr. Cherokee Layson-Wolf.

Following last year’s very mild season, there’s worry that this year will be different, and doctors fear a twindemic.

"We’re already starting to see increased cases with it in all types of environments; in workplaces, in schools, so it’s just a good reminder to protect yourself," said Layson-Wolf.

Today, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted a flu shot clinic on campus in partnership with Walgreens to help get the community vaccinated.

"It’s just a simple, easy thing you can do. Especially with COVID going around, I think that it’s something really effective that we can do to protect ourselves," said UMB School of Medicine student Nicol Tugarinov.

According to the state department of health, only 4 percent of Marylanders have gotten their flu vaccine so far.

Associate Dean Layson-Wolf said the vaccine is not only to protect yourself and the community, but to decrease stress on an already overwhelmed health care system.

"We want to make sure we try to keep in mind what health care resources we may have, keeping ourselves well enough to be out of the hospital, out of the emergency department and the flu vaccine can certainly help," said Layson-Wolf. "It does help reduce the incidents of disease. It helps reduce hospitalizations and severe illness."

The flu vaccine is also available from local health departments, doctors offices and pharmacies.