Each year, millions of individuals get the flu. While many are ill for about a week and view the flu as nothing more than an inconvenience, there are many populations for whom the flu can be deadly.

The Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health in Region 5 will begin distributing flu vaccine, giving priority to high-risk groups.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines high-risk groups that need to receive the influenza vaccine by the following criteria:

•         People aged 65 years or older

•         Residents of long-term care facilities

•         Persons aged 2-64 with chronic diseases

•         Children aged 6 to 59 months

•         Children 6 months to 18 years of age on chronic aspirin therapy

•         All women who will be pregnant during influenza season

It is very important that those who do not fall into these high-risk groups delay getting their flu shots until those who most need it have received theirs.

Flu shots are available in the Lake Charles area at the locations below:

    * Cameron Parish Walk-In Clinic Sites:

Cameron Office of Emergency Preparedness

122 Recreation Lane, Cameron

Walk-In Clinic Cameron

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 30, 12:30p.m. - 2:30p.m.

Grand Lake Recreation Center

108 Recreation Lake, Grand Lake

Walk-In Clinic Grand Lake

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Johnson Bayou Recreation Center

135 Berwick Road, Cameron

Walk-In Clinic Johnson Bayou

Thursday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m. – 11a.m.

    * Allen Parish Health Unit – Oakdale

145 Hospital Drive, Oakdale

(318) 335-1147

By appointment ONLY

Each Tuesday, between 8 a.m. – 11:30a.m.

    * Beauregard Parish Health Unit

216 Evangeline Street, DeRidder

(337) 463-4486

By appointment ONLY

Each Wednesday, between 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

    * Calcasieu Parish Health Unit – Lake Charles

3236 Kirkman Street, Lake Charles

(337) 478-6020

Walk-in clinics:

Friday, Dec. 8, 12:30p.m. – 3:30 p.m,. limited number

*Tuesdays and Thursdays at this location by appointment ONLY beginning Nov. 21.

    * Calcasieu Parish Health Unit – Sulphur

201 Edgar Street, Sulphur

(337) 478-6020

Walk-in clinic:

Monday, December 11, 12:30p.m. – 3 p.m., limited number

*Wednesdays at this location by appointment ONLY beginning Nov. 22.

    * Jefferson-Davis Parish Health Unit

403 Baker Street, Jennings

(337) 824-2193

By appointment ONLY:

Monday, Nov. 27, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Monday, Dec. 4, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

From Nov. 21 to Dec. 8: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 3:15p.m.

*After these dates, influenza vaccine will be given on Mondays by appointment ONLY.