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CDC: Earliest start to flu season in 10 years, free local flu shot locations

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(CNN/WFLA) – Flu season has come early this year. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said Friday that flu season has seen its earliest start in 10 years.

A strain of the flu that’s particularly tough on kids is showing up early too for the first time in 27 years.

There’s significant flu activity in all but 12 states and it’s hitting the southeast and southwest the hardest.

Experts say the early flu season is even more reason to get the flu shot if you haven’t already.

On Saturday, Nov. 23, free flu shots will be available across Tampa Bay Florida Blue Centers to help combat flu season.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Florida Blue will be teaming up with Walgreens to offer free flu shots at four locations in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk and Sarasota counties.

The free vaccines will be available to anyone 18 or older even if they have health insurance through another provider or do not have health insurance coverage at all. Everyone getting a flu shot at a Florida Blue Center will receive a free $5 Walgreens gift card, while supplies last.

Below is the list of locations giving away free flu shots:

  • Florida Blue Centers across the state including five locations in Tampa Bay: Westshore, 201 North Westshore Blvd., Tampa
  • Shoppes at Park Place, 3758 Park Blvd North, Pinellas Park
  • University Town Center, 285 North Cattleman Road, Sarasota
  • Winter Haven Colonial Promenade, 385 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven

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