With flu season starting soon, the Louisiana Health Department is holding flu vaccine clinics, including one Monday in Thibodaux. Louisiana immunization director Dr. Frank Welch says the flu vaccine clinics are a test run for a more serious health emergency.

Welch says similar setups were done in the time of polio and says the ability to execute this type of operation is one that needs continual practice.

"You just don't see this kind of thing anymore, so we want to make sure that we retain that capacity as a state to set up big flu clinics," said Welch.

The state health department will administer mass flu shots in Alexandria Tuesday, Jena on Wednesday and in Marksville, Jonesville Winnfield and Lafayette on Thursday.
The flu shot is especially crucial for those who may be at high risk for serious complications. Welch says last year the state saw a high rate of vaccinations in what was a really bad flu season for Louisiana.

"It probably killed more than 1,600 Louisiana residents last year so it's nothing to fool around with as we think it's the same strains this year," said Welch.

Those with insurance are asked to bring their card with them. Those without insurance can expect to pay $10 for the shot.

More details can be found on the clinics at http://ldh.la.gov/flighttheflu.

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