OKLAHOMA CITY -

The flu-related deaths in Oklahoma has gone up to 56, the state health department reported.

This flu season officially started on Sept. 1, 2018. 

So far, 2,366 people in Oklahoma have been hospitalized or died due to the flu, according to the state health department.  

Oklahoma City-County Health Department Executive Director Gary Cox notes that while this flu season isn’t as severe as last, flu shots are encouraged for all individuals six months and older.  

“There is still time to get a free flu shot before the flu season peaks as individuals who get the flu vaccine are not only protecting themselves, but family members, and even co-workers,” said Cox. “The flu vaccine can keep you from getting the flu, make the illness less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading the virus.” 

Free flu shots are still available at all three Oklahoma City-County Health locations Mondays through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to noon.  

OCCHD reminds the public that it takes about two weeks to be fully protected from the vaccine.