People taking last-minute precautions "swamped" a free flu clinic at the York City Bureau of Health Thursday afternoon.
That's the word immunizations coordinator Debbie Stoops used to describe the turnout for the event.
The severity of this year's flu season is prompting more people to turn out later than usual to get a flu shot, Stoops said.
People typically get their flu shots in October and November, but this year more people are coming in January since the flu has hit York County so hard, she said.
Jeremy Cuff, 23, of York City was at the clinic for his annual flu shot.
"I'm a last-minute type of person," said Cuff.
The only person in his family who has had the flu so far is his 2-year-old niece, but Cuff gets
York City resident Stephanie Williams gets a flu shot every year because medical assistance through her job covers it.
Williams was at the clinic with her friend Isaura Perez, who had waited until now to get a flu shot because she does not have health insurance.
"Every year you have to look until you find a place who will do it," Perez said.
The strain that is circulating this year, H3N2, also caused problems when it struck a few years ago, said Stoops.
"There were some people early in the season saying (this) would be a bad season," Stoops said. "But I don't think people got that message until it actually started getting bad."
About 90 percent of the people who visit the York City Bureau of Health are repeat patients who have been getting flu shots for years, said Stoops.
Besides the free clinics, the office is busy with scheduled appointments for flu shots.
Everyone over the age of 6 months is advised to have a flu shot, Stoops said.
"A lot of people tend to think the flu is just a bad cold, but it is serious," she said. "And the flu shot is the best thing we have to offer."
York City residents can visit the Albert S. Weyer Health Center, 435 W. Philadelphia St., for another free flu shot clinic from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday.
- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org