HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-A ferocious flu season has certainly made its presence felt in north Alabama, but unfortunately it appears to be far from over.
Health officials say the peak of this year's flu season won't likely hit until sometime in February, sparking demand for more flu shots.
A crowd of approximately 200 people lined up at Huntsville's Manna House Thursday, hopeful a quick prick would give them the flu protection they're looking for. Volunteers from Urgent Medcare provided all of the flu shots for free, an act of generosity that was much appreciated in a group filled with mostly low-income and uninsured patients.
"This is the first time we've done it on a donation basis," said Urgent Medcare CEO Bill Miller. "We heard about the need here at the Manna House and offered our flu shots."
The latest survey from the Centers for Disease Control reveals that flu remains widespread in Alabama and 34 other states, with the bulk of the cases being linked to the H1N1 strain that caused similar problems in 2009.
"This year it's looking like it [influenza] will peak in its typical month of February, so obviously there's still a bit of the flu season left," said Miller. "Getting the flu shot even now can help someone."
Health officials remind people that getting a shot does not guarantee immunity from the flu, but it does dramatically lower your risk of getting sick.
Urgent Medcare officials said anyone can walk in and pay for a flu shot during regular business hours at their locations in Huntsville, Madison and Meridianville.