The San Diego County Health Department is sending out the word: everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot.
The message comes after the worst ever flu season last year when 342 people died from flu related problems.
The majority of the people who died were over the age of 65 and had underlying medical conditions. Two children also died of flu last year.
Flu season runs from now until May. So far this season, there have been only 83 confirmed cases of flu reported.
That compares to 260 confirmed cases at this same time last year.
It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop after getting the vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated.
Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza. They include:
- People with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease, even if symptoms are under control
- Pregnant women
- People 65 years and older
- People who live with or care for others who are at higher risk
In addition to getting vaccinated, people should also do the following 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
The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies. If you don’t have medical insurance, you can go to a County public health center to get vaccinated. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 211 San Diego.
You can also read about possible side effects
Photo Credit: SD County