Public Health Promotes Flu Vaccine to Avoid "Twin Pandemic"

Public Health Promotes Flu Vaccine to Avoid "Twin Pandemic" title=
County Supervisor Gregg Hart and PHD Director Van Do-Reynoso received their flu shot during Thursday's press conference
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By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is urging the public to get a flu vaccine to avoid a "twin pandemic" with the ongoing COVID-19 virus.

County Supervisor Gregg Hart and PHD Director Van Do-Reynoso demonstrated how easy it is to receive the flu vaccine by both getting the shot during Thursday's live press conference. 

PHD is encouraging the community with their message of "don't wait, vaccinate" to avoid overloading the healthcare system with increased hospitalizations that typically occur during the fall and winter, also known as the flu season.

PHD Deputy Director Paige Batson stated nine people died in Santa Barbara County due to the flu last season, all over the age of 65 years old, and over 700 people died statewide. She explained that getting the flu vaccine will help save critical medical resources necessary for the care of COVID-19 patients.

Contrastingly, there have been 109 deaths related to COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County thus far and 14,764 deaths in California.

Batson explained that people will need to be tested for both the flu and COVID-19 since the symptoms are similar.

People over the age of 65 years old, with underlying health conditions, caregivers, essential workers, and pregnant women are at higher risk of having serious complications due to the flu.

Free vaccination clinics will take place from October 8 -19 throughout the county. 

COVID-19 Testing

PHD continues to encourage community members to get tested for COVID-19 so they can capture the asymptomatic cases who may have been exposed but don't know it that are within the community. 

"Testing has been a focal point of our broad strategy to box in the virus. the importance of testing is to ensure we know the prevalence of COVID in our community and our ability to assist those impacted cannot be underscored enough. The state has shown us this time and time again by tying testing rates directly to greater allowances for reopening," said Do-Reynoso.

Testing appointments are available in Goleta, Buellton, and Santa Maria. Residents can make an appointment by visiting lhi.care/covidtesting or calling 888-634-1123.

Thursday's Numbers

PHD is reporting 19 new cases bringing the grand total to 8,803. Of those, 172 are currently active.

There are 28 hospitalizations including 7 in the intensive care unit.

More data can be found at https://publichealthsbc.org/status-reports/.

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Andrea Smith Sep 17, 2020 10:16 PM
Public Health Promotes Flu Vaccine to Avoid "Twin Pandemic"

Experts have already said, likelihood of a heavy flu season is highly unlikely due to masks, distancing and disinfecting. If you are protecting against COVID, which is more contagious, you are protecting against flu.

Bird Sep 18, 2020 09:30 AM
Public Health Promotes Flu Vaccine to Avoid "Twin Pandemic"

That's not correct: the flu and covid-19 are not the same; we should get a flu shot, but, for us, unlike the county employees pictured, it's not free until Oct 8 through 19. There are no shots (vaccinations) for C-19. It is true, though, that the predictions are that this year's flu is a mild variety and wearing masks may be helpful. Increasingly, though masks are not being worn; also, if you get both flu and C-19, you're more likely or likely to become quite sick.

RHS Sep 18, 2020 09:50 AM
Public Health Promotes Flu Vaccine to Avoid "Twin Pandemic"

My spouse and I both got flu shots last week. They were "free" to us as they were covered by our insurance/medicare. And, yes, the masking helps reduce the transfer of flu just as it does COVID but that is no reason to minimize the need to get the flu shot.

Andrea Smith Sep 18, 2020 10:01 AM
Public Health Promotes Flu Vaccine to Avoid "Twin Pandemic"

BIRD it is correct. There is a Facebook page "Your Local Epidemiologist" which is excellent, data and science based and she just did a post on this. They expect flu numbers to be very low this season due to COVID precautions being taken. If you want to get a flu shot that his your prerogative but it is highly unlikely there will be a "twin pandemic" or high flu numbers. Check it out for yourself.

haskelslocal Sep 18, 2020 10:23 AM
Public Health Promotes Flu Vaccine to Avoid "Twin Pandemic"

Seasonal Onset, Waning immunity and vaccine Effectiveness. (OWE)
What you're witnessing in the photo are community leaders posing to suggest that receiving a flu shot is harmless. Because of OWE the best time to get a flu shot is late October. Traditionally, onset of influenza season doesn't occur until late January75% of the time (27/36 flu seasons). Because Vaccine effectiveness wanes, it's best to inoculate as close to flu season as possible. But this is an unknown and not always wise to play the risks. These experts also fear that if you don't get the shot early, you may not get it at all. There's also backlog issues if everyone waits and goes to get it at once. All negative feedback loops. There are parts of these shots that lose potency over time which is why waiting for the shot improves efficacy (Think freshness). But see the paradox? No lunch is free. If you wait you may not go and if you get it early it might spoil. And no matter when you inject you'll never know if you were right. Adding in Covid does create the potential for a less severe influenza season because the community is hyper sensitive via social distancing, masks, etc. SAM (Social distance, Avoidance, Masks) theoretically lowers the risk that any virus can possibly take hold. Remember that now even sneezing and coughing are suspect. We used to sit in a room and just say "God bless you" to the random sneeze. Now it will be "GO HOME!" and that's even if people are physically together in a room and not on Zoom. Crazy thing is that in the same light, as people have been removed from infectious paths, even though you're less likely to get something now, you may be preparing yourself as more likely to something later. That's why some mild seasons are quickly followed by higher than normal seasons. All of this is wrapped inside the many probable varieties of influenza virus that could take hold but are not covered in a vaccine. Confused yet? We all are. That's why these folk beg everyone for simplicity and just say, Get Your Flu Shot.

dukemunson Sep 18, 2020 10:34 AM
Public Health Promotes Flu Vaccine to Avoid "Twin Pandemic"

Tin Hatters of Edhat rejoice!!! UCSB just sent the following message to all students, parents, people associated with them, etc:

UCSB, SBCC, and the SB County Public Health Department have created online forms that enable members of the public to report any incidents in which residents are not following public health orders. These reports are reviewed within 24-48 hours of receipt and timely follow-up is conducted.
When a residence is reported for the first time, a joint letter of concern from the Dean of Students offices at UCSB and SBCC is delivered to the household’s front door (when identifiable) with reminders of health orders, COVID-19 prevention strategies, and information about testing resources. In addition, Santa Barbara County Public Health mails a letter of concern to any address reported through their online form.

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