Ascension Wisconsin is offering free Influenza (flu) vaccinations for the community at Ascension St. Joseph (5000 W. Chambers St., Milwaukee) and the Consulate of Mexico (1443 N. Prospect Ave.) in Milwaukee for adults age 18 and older.

The dates for the vaccinations at Ascension St. Joseph, which will be available from 9 a.m. to noon, are Wednesdays, Oct. 7, Oct. 14, Oct. 21 and Oct. 28.

The clinics at the Consulate of Mexico in Milwaukee will also be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 3; Monday, Oct. 5; and Friday, Oct. 9.

“Getting a vaccine is more important than ever this year to protect yourself, your family, friends and neighbors from the flu,” said Nichole Gladney, Ascension Wisconsin community services director. “Offering flu vaccinations free of charge for our most at-risk patients and residents in Milwaukee will help keep our community healthy and free up resources our healthcare systems need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine. People 65 years and older and adults with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease and stroke, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, are at a high risk of developing serious complications from flu compared to young healthy adults.

Both influenza and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses. Until there is a vaccine to protect against COVID-19, one of the best ways to help prevent these two viruses from circulating at the same time is to get a flu vaccine. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Testing may be needed to confirm a diagnosis. Ascension Wisconsin recommends contacting your doctor for instructions on when to seek care.

The flu vaccine takes nearly two weeks to become effective. Doctors at Ascension Wisconsin encourage everyone to be vaccinated before Oct. 31.

No appointment or insurance is required. There is no cost and no ID is needed. Translation services are available. COVID-19 safety measures will be in place. Masks/face coverings are required.