NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Data from the CDC Saturday showed cases of the flu in Louisiana increased over the week prior.

“We try to encourage families to come out and get protected. Especially the people that have cardiovascular conditions or diabetes,” Chloe Villavaso with Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association. “Those people are at risk for having worse outcomes if they develop the flu or COVID-19.”

That’s why the New Orleans Health Department, The Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Sankofa, the Healthy Heart Community Prevention Project and other organizations held a flu and COVID vaccine clinic Saturday in the Lower Ninth Ward.

“We know the Lower Ninth Ward does have high incidents of comorbidities,” Healthy Heart Community Prevention Project Executive Director Dr. Daphne Ferdinand said. “We want to make sure those individuals who are suffering with diabetes and heart disease and any other diseases get their flu shots.”

There was also an incentive to get protected. They gave away $20 gift cards to anyone who got a flu shot.

This year, experts said it is important to double up on vaccines.

“The outcomes in people of certain populations, particularly those of the Hispanic ethnicity and also the black community have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” Villavaso said. “So, as we continue to face the challenges of COVID spreading and variants coming about we really need people to be protected and preserve their health.”

There will be two more clinics. The next one will be held Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Milne Recreation Center at 5420 Franklin Ave. Dec. 10, they will host one at New Orleans East Hospital at 5620 Read Blvd. at the same time.

Anyone interested in registering can do so at sankofanola.org or by calling 504-592-0347. Walk-ins are welcome.