Free flu clinics kick off for Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital – KSBW Monterey

Avoiding a flu spike during a pandemic is top of mind for health professionals at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. The hospital kicked off the first of five free flu clinics this season on Saturday. “For us, it’s very important to be as healthy as possible and take preventative measure to stay that way. So that’s why we are here,” said Manny Hernandez, a flu shot recipient. For the past three years, Hernandez and his family have come to the free flu clinics offered by Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, in partnership with the Monterey County Health Department. This year, the family was first in line. They said they want to do their part to build immunity, protect and prevent against the flu. Hernandez said, “folks should take advantage of this.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between 9 and 45 million people contract the flu each year. So far this year, Johns Hopkins reports more than 7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. While the CDC estimates between 12,000 and 61,000 people die each year from the flu, COVID-19 has already taken more than 214,000 lives in the U.S. SVMH nurses, along with Hartnell nursing students, are volunteering to give out flu shots. Their hope is for hospitals not to be swamped with both viruses. “One would think at least now with flu having this vaccine available, then we can kind of put that aside as part of the things we have in our mind that we’re worried about,” said Mercedes Labindalaua, a longtime registered nurse at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. The long line of people at the first free flu clinics are aware of the worry. Hospital employees said they have seen an increase in people wanting to get vaccinated. “The more people we can get immunized — it will protect not only them but those around them that can’t get immunized. And therefore, hopefully, help keep them from getting so sick with the flu and therefore out of the hospital,” said Jill Peralta-Cuellar, a registered nurse and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital manager of employee health services.SVMHS’s next free flu clinic is from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at Palma High School in Salinas.

Avoiding a flu spike during a pandemic is top of mind for health professionals at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. The hospital kicked off the first of five free flu clinics this season on Saturday.

“For us, it’s very important to be as healthy as possible and take preventative measure to stay that way. So that’s why we are here,” said Manny Hernandez, a flu shot recipient.

For the past three years, Hernandez and his family have come to the free flu clinics offered by Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, in partnership with the Monterey County Health Department.

This year, the family was first in line. They said they want to do their part to build immunity, protect and prevent against the flu.

Hernandez said, “folks should take advantage of this.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between 9 and 45 million people contract the flu each year.

So far this year, Johns Hopkins reports more than 7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases.

While the CDC estimates between 12,000 and 61,000 people die each year from the flu, COVID-19 has already taken more than 214,000 lives in the U.S.

SVMH nurses, along with Hartnell nursing students, are volunteering to give out flu shots. Their hope is for hospitals not to be swamped with both viruses.

“One would think at least now with flu having this vaccine available, then we can kind of put that aside as part of the things we have in our mind that we’re worried about,” said Mercedes Labindalaua, a longtime registered nurse at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital.

The long line of people at the first free flu clinics are aware of the worry. Hospital employees said they have seen an increase in people wanting to get vaccinated.

“The more people we can get immunized — it will protect not only them but those around them that can’t get immunized. And therefore, hopefully, help keep them from getting so sick with the flu and therefore out of the hospital,” said Jill Peralta-Cuellar, a registered nurse and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital manager of employee health services.

SVMHS’s next free flu clinic is from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at Palma High School in Salinas.