Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Offers Free Flu Shots to Benefit Santa’s Exchange

Flu season is right around the corner, and it’s time to mark your calendar for Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s free flu shot clinic and community toy drive event. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu can result in serious complications and leads to more than 200,000 hospitalizations each year in the U.S.

“The best way to flex your health muscles against influenza is to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Adelola Ashaye, primary care physician with Houston Methodist Primary Care Group. “And, it’s especially important for certain groups of people like pregnant women, those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, lung, heart or kidney disease, people age 50 and older, residents of nursing homes and other long-term facilities and caregivers of those in a high-risk group.”

Test Your Influenza Intelligence

True or False? December is too late to get a flu shot.

False. A seasonal flu shot is the most important preventive step you can take. While the CDC recommends getting one as soon as the vaccine is available each year, the shot is offered through January and beyond since flu season typically peaks in February.

True or False? The flu vaccine can make me sick with the flu.

False. The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu. According to the CDC, the vaccine is made with either an inactivated virus and therefore non-infectious recombinant vaccine, which has no flu virus at all or in the form of a nasal spray as a live but weakened vaccine and therefore not able to cause the flu.  While a small number of patients may have side effects from the vaccine, which are often mild and short-lived, such as fever, soreness at vaccine site and aches, the flu vaccine does not cause the flu.

True or False? I can spread the flu even if I don’t have symptoms.

True. “Healthy adults can pass the influenza virus to someone else one day before symptoms begin and can infect others up to five days after getting sick,” Dr. Ashaye said. “Practice good prevention such as frequent hand-washing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ashaye, call 281-276-0653 or visit www.houstonmethodist.org/primarycare.

Give a Gift and Beat the Flu

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital will offer free flu shots on Saturday, November 8th from 8 am to noon to community members who participate in Santa’s Gift Exchange.

Fort Bend and surrounding area residents can bring a new, unwrapped toy or clothing item to the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Main Pavilion lobby in exchange for a free flu shot. Held in collaboration with the Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Fort Bend Exchange Club, Rotary Club of Sugar Land, Rotary Club of Fort Bend and Toys for Tots Fort Bend, all toys and clothing will benefit local children in the Fort Bend area. No appointments are necessary; some restrictions apply.

The flu vaccine is formulated to provide protection against three different flu viruses—H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B. Call 281-275-0751 for more information about the event.