Californians urged to get vaccinated against flu

Submitted to the Sun
In this 2016 file photo, medical assistant Victor Cardiel gives Ricardo Fragoso a flu shot at Tahoe Forest Hospital.
Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun File

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health is urging residents to get vaccinated against the flu to prevent serious illness and reduce the spread to others.

“Do your part to protect yourselves and your loved ones by getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH director and state public health officer, said in a news release. “Flu vaccinations keep people out of the hospital, keeping our healthcare system open to help with other illnesses during the winter.”

In California, flu activity usually begins to increase in late November or December, so everyone is recommended to get vaccinated against the flu by the end of October. It takes a couple of weeks after vaccination for the body to build an immunity. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines may be administered concurrently, so do not hesitate to get boosted or immunized against COVID-19 when receiving a flu shot.

CDPH recommends the annual flu vaccination for everyone six months of age and older. Those at higher risk of getting severe flu disease include:

— People 65 years and older.

— People who smoke or have underlying medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, lung disease, neurologic disorders, and weakened immune systems.

— People who are pregnant and children under five years of age.

— African Americans, Latinx and Native populations, who are disproportionately affected by chronic medical conditions that can increase the risk for severe flu or COVID-19.

— Caregivers and residents in long-term care facilities.

— Employees who work with the public.

CDPH encourages Californians to contact their health care provider, physician’s office or clinic about getting the flu vaccine. Adults may also find flu vaccine appointments at a pharmacy. Pharmacies usually accept most insurance, including Medi-Cal. Some local health departments may also offer low- or no-cost flu immunizations.

“Call your doctor or pharmacist to get vaccinated against flu today,” said Dr. Aragón. “We are stronger when we are all protected.”

Besides getting immunized, you can also take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:

 — Stay home when sick.

— Cough or sneeze into your elbow, arm, or disposable tissue. If you use disposable tissue, use hand sanitizer, or wash your hands afterwards.

— Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

— Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.For more information about the flu, visit CDPH’s website and to find a flu vaccine location, visit

Source: California Department of Public Health

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