Public Health Officials Urge Residents To Get A Flu Shot
Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reminds residents that flu season is only weeks away and that it is time to get a flu shot. Significant flu activity can begin as early as October, last as late as May, and typically peaks in February. The flu is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). Unlike many other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications.
To highlight the importance of influenza vaccination, especially among healthcare workers and students, the Santa Barbara County Health Officer and the Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools joined together to get their flu shots. Charity Dean, M.D. and Susan Salcido, Ed.D. hope to set an example for the community as seen in the photo above.
Yearly flu vaccination should begin as soon as vaccine is available, and should continue throughout the flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can take about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early. Health experts across the country recommend that everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women, get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses for the upcoming flu season.
Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever before. Vaccines are available from your regular health care provider as well as retail pharmacies. Many employers, schools, colleges, and universities also offer them. The flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent the flu. Find other locations offering the vaccine on the Flu Vaccine Resource sheet (See following pages) or by visiting www.VaccineFinder.org.
Flu shots are covered by Medi-Cal, Medicare and by most insurance plans. Find more information about the flu and flu vaccine at www.cdc.gov/flu.
Flu Vaccine Resources
Influenza (Flu Basics)
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Symptoms can include fever, chills, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones: Get Vaccinated
The CDC recommends that all people 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every flu season. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, getting vaccinated is particularly important for people at high risk of serious flu-related complications and close contacts of people at high-risk. Yearly flu vaccination should begin as soon as vaccine is available and continue throughout the flu season which can last as late as May.
Where do I get vaccinated?
Flu shots are covered by most health insurance plans, Medicare Part B, Medi-Cal and the Vaccines For Children Program (VFC). Check with your child’s provider to see if they participate in the VFC Program. To get a flu vaccine to check with your regular health care provider. Even if you don’t have a regular health care provider, you can get a flu vaccine from one of these other locations:
Santa Barbara County Health Care Centers / Community Clinics / Hospitals
- Community Health Centers of the Central Coast - www.chccc.org - 1-866-614-4636
- Cottage Health Systems Flu Hotline – www.sbch.org
- Marian Community Clinic – 805-739-3890
- Sansum Clinics Flu Hotline - www.sansumclinic.org - 805-681-7805
- Santa Barbara County Health Care Centers (HCC) – www.sbcphd.org
- Carpinteria HCC 805-560-1050 / Franklin HCC 805-568-2099 / Lompoc HCC 805-737-6400 / Santa Maria HCC 805-346-7230
- Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics – www.sbclinics.org
- Eastside 805-963-1641 / Isla Vista 805-968-1511 / Westside 805-963-1546 / Goleta 805-617-7878
Free Community Based Flu Clinic
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Free Community Flu Clinic for 2 and over: Goleta Valley Community Center - October 25, 2018 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Several pharmacy and store chains are offering flu vaccine. For more information visit http://flushot.healthmap.org/ or one of the sites below: