NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio says it’s time for New Yorkers to get their flu shots.

“It’s really important that we take it seriously and we get ahead of it,” he said Tuesday. “Even though we’re used to the flu, we should not underestimate it. It can be deadly. It is for too many people.”

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“This abundance of caution approach is particularly important for our most vulnerable New Yorkers – our children, our senior citizen, people with chronic diseases,” Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi added. “Although we are seeing reasons for optimism with respect to influenza in the southern hemisphere, we just can’t leave it up to chance, and we have something that works in a safe and effective vaccine.”

Visit nyc.gov/flu to find a flu shot near you, or text “FLU” to 877-877 or call 311.

WATCH: Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Daily Coronavirus Briefing 

The mayor also shared an update on the city’s test and trace program, saying it has prevented up to 15,000 potential cases of the coronavirus.

“Having the biggest, strongest test and trace corps in the country out there in communities all the time, following up on cases all the time – it’s making a world of difference,” he said.

He said the hyper-local response in Soundview helped lower the rate of infection from 2.4% to 0.82%.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Later this week, those resources will be available in Southeast Queens.

“Starting this Friday, you can come to our new site at Ozone Park, you can get tested and have your result back within 15 minutes,” said Dr. Ted Long, head of the program. “If it’s positive, our team of in-person contact tracers will get contacts from you right there, will call them that day and bring them in for testing.

“Then, before you leave, we’ll pair you with a resource navigator to ask how we can help to keep you and your family safe.”

The city also has a new test and trace hotline that can be reached at 212-COVID-19.

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