St. Barnabas Hospital offers free flu vaccines

September 3, 2013 2:11:26 PM PDT
It's the sound you'd expect at a flu vaccine clinic.

For the first time at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx, they're offering a walk-in clinic, vaccines at no cost- no appointment necessary and the flu season hasn't even started.

"Once the virus hits it usually peaks November, December, and January so we like to protect our kids early," said Dr. Listeet Robledo, Pediatric Director at St. Barnabas.

It might seem early, but new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics advise parents to get your kids vaccinated now or as soon as possible. This could prevent a bad flu season like last year.

"It's also great to vaccinate the kids ahead of time before they're in school with other children before they're exposed to the virus," said Dr. Robledo.

Alanis Robles starts school next week.

"I didn't really feel anything," she said about the shot.

For the first time, this year's vaccine will protect against 4 strains of the influenza virus instead of 3, technically called a quadrivalent vaccine.

Most doctors offices should have the new 4 strain vaccine but if they don't the recommendation is don't wait- get what's available.

The vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months. But only about half of all adults and children actually get it.

Dr. Robledo hopes making the vaccine easier to get will convince more parents bring their kids in.

Their clinic is open Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of the year.