HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - An alarming trend has drawn concern around the country as hospitals are filling up due to an unusually active and early flu season.

“Times in our emergency department’s overall, for again both adult and pediatric patients, are nearing historic highs,” said one doctor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 7,000 people have died because of the flu, and 13,000 people needed to be hospitalized. Those numbers that have not been seen since the height of the swine flu pandemic.

“[The flu shot] is to keep healthy, right?” said one man who has been vaccinated. “That’s the name of the game. You have to try to prevent getting sick, so that’s why we took the decision.”

In South Florida, Florida Blue offered free flu shots and COVID-19 vaccinations at their community centers. They also offered a free $10 Publix gift card.

“It’s for the safety of my wife and for myself that I get the vaccination,” said another man.

The last event for the flu season ended on Saturday in Florida Blue’s Hialeah location at 1001 W. 49th St.

There are still plenty of places across South Florida for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot. Click here for more information.

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