The Wilkes-Barre City Health Department held a Flu Clinic at the Kirby Health Center on Thursday, Nov. 15 to provide free flu vaccines to the public from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

With last year being a minor flu season, experts and health officials are urging people to get the a flu shot now, as usually the following year is much worse.

Cases of flu sickness have already popped up in different parts of the country and, according to webmd.com, the flu causes around 3,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations each year in theUnited States.

Director of the Wilkes-Barre Health Department Ted Kross suggests that now is the right time to get a flu shot, before the flu season picks up.

“It takes two weeks to develop immunity after receiving the flu vaccine, and usually from Thanksgiving to March, the flu season is at its peak,” he said.

This is the Health Department’s seventh clinic of the year, and this year they have given out more vaccine doses than any other year, doling out more than 1,700 doses in a day, a record for them.

Although getting the vaccine helps fight the flu, Kross said it is still important for people to take precautions to avoid getting the flu or spreading it to others.

“Do frequent hand washing and sanitizing, get a great deal of rest, if sick and suffering flu symptoms do not attend work or school and if you need to cough, cover your mouth with the sleeve of your shirt,” said Kross.

The Wilkes-Barre Health Department has also received a donation of 500 doses of the flu vaccine, making it possible to provide shots to non residents of Wilkes-Barre as well.