National Influenza Vaccination week ends on Dec.11, but San Diego County health officials continue to encourage residents six months and older to get vaccinated. 

An upswing of influenza cases are seen typically during the holidays and the winter months. A report published by the County Health and Human Services Agency reports 535 confirmed cases for the week ending Dec 4.

“Indoor holiday celebrations and other gatherings make it easier for influenza to spread,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The vaccine is the best defense we have against influenza. Get vaccinated now to prevent getting sick and making others ill.”

The report notes emergency department visits for influenza and illness alike are 4 percent of all visits, compared with 3 percent in the previous week.  This week, the total for lab-confirmed influenza cases are 123, nearly doubled from 64 in the week prior. There are no recorded deaths due to influenza at this time. 

Doctors offices and retail pharmacies offer the influenza vaccine, which is covered by medical insurance. People with no health care coverage can get vaccinated at one of the County’s six public health centers or a local community clinic. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also indicates you can get a flu and COVID-19 vaccination at the same time, including a booster dose.  Immunity developed from the flu shot takes approximately two weeks. The coronavirus vaccine does not work against influenza and vice versa. According to health officials, those who are at high risk of serious complications from the virus are especially encouraged by health officials in receiving a flu vaccine. 

Who is at high risk?

  • People with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and lung disease, even if symptoms are under control
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live with or care for others who are at higher risk

Additional practices to avoid getting sick: 

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often
  • Use hand sanitizers
  • Stay away from sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others

To find the nearest location, visit the County’s Flu Vaccine Locations page or call 2-1-1 San Diego.




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