With influenza season approaching, the Island boards of health will be hosting a free flu immunization clinic on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at the regional high school.

The clinic is open to all age groups. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccines for everyone six months and older.

The vaccines are free. Health insurance information will be collected, but insurance will not be billed. Edgartown health agent Matt Poole said funding for the clinic comes from board of health budgets.

There is no pre-registration, and walk-ins are welcomed, organizers said.

Mr. Poole said the boards of health will have 180 doses of vaccines on hand for the clinic. There may also be a limited supply of high-strength vaccines available for people 65 and older.

Last year just under 200 people attended the free clinic. Numbers are declining each year as people opt for vaccinations with health care providers or at Island pharmacies.

Chilmark health agent Marina Lent said the clinic is a regional effort to prevent the spread of the flu virus, which hit the Island hard last year.

“Last year we had what felt like an extended flu season, but it was actually two flu seasons coming one right after another,” she said.

According to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, there were 320 lab confirmed cases of the flu on the Island in 2018-2019. There has already been one confirmed case of the flu this season.

“It’s hard to predict the severity of flu season from year to year. Last year had the second largest number of cases in the past decade,” said Dr. David Hopper, chief of infection control unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, in an email to the Gazette.

The Vineyard hospital is affiliated with Mass General, owned by Partners Healthcare.

Ms. Lent and Claire Seguin, chief clinical and quality officer at the Vineyard hospital, both stressed the importance of getting ahead of the flu through vaccinations.

“Never underestimate the flu,” Ms. Lent said. “If by a roll of the dice a strain of the flu comes up that is extremely communicable or severe, suddenly you are looking at a very bad situation.”

Ms. Seguin agreed. “Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year nationally and serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death,” she said. “Flu season is fast approaching. Now is the time to get a flu vaccine.”