PHOENIX - It's not here in force yet but Valley officials say they are so concerned with this year's flu virus they're going to be offering free vaccinations.
Mesa Fire will be holding a free flu vaccination clinic from 5 – 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Fiesta Mall in Mesa.
Only around 600 confirmed cases of the flu have been reported this season, but Mesa officials say they expect that number to start rising fast.
"What we're seeing across the country right now is widespread influenza and this is some bad stuff this year. It's actually H1N1 which is the same strain we saw as a pandemic in 2009. It's very powerful, it's very contagious and we really want to get as many people vaccinated as possible," said Larissa Dvorak of Mesa Fire and Medical.
Another area of concern is who this year's flu is targeting.
Officials say that so far about 80 percent of the reported flu cases have been H1N1, of those cases 40% have affected normally healthy adults.
"That's very unusual. Normally we see cases of flu in the very young or the very old. This particular H1N1 strain is causing a lot of problems in the young to middle age population, even in people who are healthy," said Dvorak.
Fiesta mall is located at the US 60 and Alma School Road in Mesa. Flu shots will be administered inside the mall near Best Buy.