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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) – Area hospitals reported five influenza-related deaths so far this year – and the disease is not backing down.

The good news is that it's not too late to get a free flu shot.

In October, Barnes Jewish Hospital provided 35,000 free flu shots. Round two is in response to the recent flu spike in our area.

"Ever year, the CDC recommends that everyone six months and above gets vaccinated," Jonathan Leesman with Barnes Jewish Hospital said. "It's still peak season right now, and it takes a couple of weeks once you get the shot for it to fully affect your immune system, so you know it's not too late."

It's not guaranteed that you won't get the flu if you get a flu shot, but it does protect you. The vaccine protects against three different strains.

People at high risk for the flu typically include those over 65, adults with other medical issues, pregnant women and health care workers. This year, the CDC is recommending that everyone get the shot.

Shots are available until 8 p.m. tonight, and between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. tomorrow at O'Fallon Park Rec Center while supplies last.

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