Just as flu season kicks off, Long Beach is offering residents a monthlong opportunity to get vaccinated for free at a handful of locations across the city beginning Wednesday.

Several vaccination clinics will be open throughout the month in preparation of flu season, which typically begins in October and peaks between December and February. Appointments are not required.

The free clinics are meant to incentivize people who don’t have insurance or access to a health care provider, the city has said previously.

Health officials urge anyone six months and older get an influenza vaccine every year to limit outbreaks and protect the vulnerable.

While most people may experience fevers, chills, aches, pains and coughing, influenza can cause serious health complications for those aged 60 and older, pregnant women, caregivers of seniors, infants and those with an underlying chronic medical condition or a compromised immune system.

“We encourage everyone to stay up to date with their vaccines, which includes getting the flu shot,” said Mayor Rex Richardson in a statement. “Not only will this protect you, it also protects people at high risk for flu hospitalizations, including older adults and very young children.”

The city will operate the free vaccination sites and community clinics at several parks. The first clinic will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McBride Park (1550 Martin Luther King Jr Ave.)

Here’s the full schedule of community clinics:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Park Central Facilities Center (1133 Rhea St.) Monday through Friday, from 2 to 6 p.m.
  • El Dorado Park West Recreation Center (2800 N. Studebaker Rd.) Monday through Thursday, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • El Dorado Park (7550 E. Spring St.) on Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Admiral Kidd Park (2125 Santa Fe Ave.) on Tuesday, Oct. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Silverado Park (1545 W. 31st St.) on Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Long Beach Senior Center (1150 E. Fourth St.) on Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Houghton Park (6301 Myrtle Ave.) on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Bixby Park (130 Cherry Ave.) on Friday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition to the smaller clinics, the largest clinic of the year will be open from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Main Health, located at 2525 Grand Ave.

That large-scale clinic is part of the city’s annual training exercise for mass vaccination efforts, which were critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, the health department said in a release.

Insured residents are encouraged to schedule their flu vaccine through their healthcare providers or local pharmacies through MyTurn.

Appointments at the city’s health department can be made by calling 562-570-7912 during regular business hours. A small administrative fee will apply at the time of the appointment. Health officials did not specify the fee amount.

Health officials also recommend that everyone practice healthy habits to prevent getting or transmitting the flu, such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home from work or school, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and washing your hands.

For more information about the 2023 flu season, visit longbeach.gov/flu or call the Public Health Information Line at 562-570-7907.