CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and the Baltimore City Health Department will host free flu shot clinics on Dec. 14 at Fort Worthington Elementary School and Dec. 15 at Furman Templeton Preparatory Academy, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.
The clinics will offer both walk-up and drive-through services. People do not need an appointment or insurance to receive a flu vaccination.
As of Dec. 10, 19% of Baltimore residents had received a flu vaccination this year.
The Baltimore health department is aiming to vaccinate at least 70% of the city’s residents by the end of the 2020-2021 flu season, according to a press release from CareFirst.
CareFirst Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Daniel J. Winn said that people can protect themselves and loved ones by being vaccinated.
“By getting the flu shot, you are not only protecting your health but the health of your friends, family and neighbors,” Winn said in a statement. “Each of us needs to do our part in following vaccine recommendations to protect ourselves and each other.”
Health officials are especially pushing for people to get vaccinated this year to prevent hospitals from becoming further strained by influenza cases as they are already grappling with increasing rates of coronavirus-related hospitalizations, the press release said.
The clinics, located in the Berea neighborhood of East Baltimore and the Upton neighborhood of West Baltimore, will improve access to flu vaccine resources for residents in those underserved areas, said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa.
“By bringing flu clinics directly to neighborhoods with less vaccine utilization, partnerships like this remove barriers to health care access in Baltimore City, by providing free, direct services to our residents,” Dzirasa said in a statement.
People can text 443-990-0578 to get a free Uber ride to one of the clinics, or a voucher for a free flu vaccine from another location if they cannot attend one of the two clinics next week.
“CareFirst’s not-for-profit mission works to remove barriers and improve access to healthcare, and these clinics embody our purpose,” Destiny Simone-Ramjohn, Vice President of Community Health and Social Impact at CareFirst, said in a statement. “We are honored to work with Baltimore City’s Health Department to meet the needs of individuals and families where they live, learn, work, play and seek care. Baltimore is better when we act together.”
Associate Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Marcus Dieterle is a freelancer and former associate editor of the Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Maryland. Before that, he served as the editor-in-chief of The Towerlight. Marcus graduated from Towson University in 2018 with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. He can be reached at (email protected) Latest posts by Marcus Dieterle (see all)