The Hillsborough County Health Department is offering free flu shots this week on Tuesday and Thursday.
Clinics will take place on Tuesday at Riverview High School located at 11311 Boyette Rd. in Riverview from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., as well as Thursday, Dec. 19 at Plant City High School located at One Raider Place in Plant City from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Any child in the county can come to one of the clinics and get a free flu shot, and those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
The health department says flu activity typically peaks between December and February, but can last as long as May.
They say the main type of flu virus they've seen circulating so far is contained in this year's flu vaccine, meaning those who got the flu shot this season have a higher chance of not becoming ill with the most dominant strain circulating.
The flu can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as young children, the elderly and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk for serious complications from the flu. Some children are at especially high risk for flu-related complications: children less than 5 years old, American Indian and Alaskan Native children, and children with chronic health problems.
There have been two flu-associated pediatric deaths in Florida this season, both in children who didn't receive this year's flu shot.
Flu vaccination has been shown to reduce a child's risk of dying from flu by 60%, the department of health says.
In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu or flu-like illness, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading germs to others. In addition, there are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat influenza illness.