TIRR Memorial Hermann, the City of Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and the Metropolitan Transit Authority are partnering to provide free flu shots for METRO riders and current or former patients of TIRR Memorial Hermann. The group is hoping to reach people with disabilities who may benefit from convenient access or need transportation assistance to get a flu shot. The flu drives will take place at three locations throughout Houston from Nov. 17 through Nov. 20.
Infectious disease experts say this year, more than any other year, it’s extremely important that everyone receives a flu shot. Flu shots are available for any current or former TIRR Memorial Hermann patient as well as METROLift riders and are available on a first come, first served/pre-registered basis.
“Ensuring our current and former patients and others in the community have access to a flu shot is critically important,” said Rhonda Abbott, Interim Senior Vice President and CEO of TIRR Memorial Hermann. “COVID-19 will likely be with us throughout the duration of this flu season and reducing the chances of a flu outbreak can help our health system not become overwhelmed as we continue to deal with the pandemic. This effort is one way TIRR Memorial Hermann continues the legacy of advocacy work that forms the foundation of our rehab network.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months receive a flu shot every year. People over age 65, pregnant women, people with cancer, diabetes or others with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk of contracting the flu.
"METRO is proud to support this important initiative. As we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that all regional partners work together to help mitigate any other potential health crisis. Ensuring everyone, especially those with disabilities, can travel safely to receive a free flu shot is one way we further protect our most vulnerable neighbors," said METRO President and CEO Tom Lambert.
“We are committed to advancing the efforts of our city partners that seek to prioritize the health and safety of all Houstonians with disabilities,” said Gabe Cazares Director of the City of Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “As we make our way through this pandemic, we stand by all programs that lessen the strain on our medical system while providing much-needed support for our community.”
Flu season usually runs from October to May. Keep in mind, it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take effect, so the time is now to get your annual shot.
“The flu – just like COVID-19 – hits older people and those with underlying health conditions especially hard,” said Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer for the City of Houston. “Along with the flu, we fully expect the virus that causes COVID-19 to keep spreading this fall and winter and we need everyone to do their part to protect themselves and their loves ones by getting a flu shot.”