Starting Thursday, you can get flu shots and COVID boosters before Lakers, Clippers and Kings games

By later this week, your ticket to a sporting event at Arena could come with a COVID-19 vaccine booster and a flu shot. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced a new partnership with the area, the Los Angeles Lakers, the LA Clippers and the LA Kings Tuesday, that would bring a pop-up vaccination clinic to the arena during home games. Anyone with a ticket as well as arena staff will be eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot as well as a flu shot.

The clinics will start on Thursday, Nov. 17, when the Clippers take on the Detroit Pistons, and continue through the end of the year. Vaccines will be distributed starting when doors open and continue until 30 minutes after the game start. The pop-up clinic will be set up near Blaze Pizza on the main concourse, near the 11th Street entrance.

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The clinics will offer the "updated" COVID-19 booster, which protects against the contagious Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend this booster for anyone ages five and up, at least two months after the two-shot primary vaccine series or first booster. The CDC also recommends the flu shot to all people six months and older with "rare exception."

Experts predict this flu season to be a particularly intense one. Flu hospitalization rates have already reached a 13-year high, and the CDC estimates that around 730 people have already died from the flu this year, including two children.

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Reports of flu are already high in 17 states, and the hospitalization rate hasn’t been this high this early since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, according to the CDC. So far, there have been an estimated 730 flu deaths, including at least two children. Experts have also warned about ‘flurona’ the confluence of COVID-19 and the flu, and the potential severe impact it could pose on U.S. hospitals this flu season.

Anyone looking for vaccines who doesn't have a ticket to an upcoming Lakers, Clippers or Kings game can check the County Public Health website to find vaccination sites near them.