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County of Santa Clara Offers Free Flu Shots

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 17, 2020


Staying Up to Date on Preventive Vaccines Even More Important during COVID-19 Pandemic
 

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.--Health officials are asking the public to get vaccinated for influenza right now. Each winter, people sick with flu crowd hospitals and urgent care clinics, resources that may be strained due to COVID-19.

Early and timely flu shots can prevent a disease that hospitalizes 200,000 Americans every year. To keep yourself and your family out of the hospital, doctors recommend an annual flu shot for everyone age 6 months or older. Flu shots become widely available in September each year.

“This is the countdown to the flu season,” said Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez. “Santa Clara County wants to make it easy for our residents to get free flu shots at our County Fairgrounds without an appointment starting this Saturday through mid-December so we all can be protected during the pandemic.”

“You need a flu shot every year, and this is not the year to skip it,” said Dr. Sara Cody, County of Santa Clara Health Officer and director of the County Public Health Department. “The flu shot is a safe, effective way to reduce your chance of ending up in the hospital with severe flu. It is important for parents to know that it is safe to take kids into the doctor for vaccinations.”

In the Bay Area, as is the case across the state and the country, the percentage of children up to date on immunizations has fallen as parents delay routine visits to their pediatricians, which is a serious concern. The County of Santa Clara regularly communicates with parents about keeping kids up to date, which is required for school attendance. An annual flu shot visit is a great time for kids to catch up on vaccination.

The flu vaccine offers protection for many months, but not forever. Also, the strains of influenza circulating in the community change over time, so it is important to get the new vaccine every year.

For those with insurance, under the Affordable Care Act, a flu shot is available without cost as a preventive service from your regular doctor or most pharmacies. For those without health insurance, or anyone who finds it more convenient, free community clinics and the County offer many opportunities to get a free flu shot.

Featured Locations: County Health System no-cost flu shot services available to the public in SEPTEMBER
No appointments are necessary. Masks are required. All are welcome regardless of immigration status, and language services are available.

Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, San José
Saturdays starting September 19, 2020, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. through mid-December
Car entrance for general parking: Gate D, 2542 Monterey Road, San José, CA 95111
Age 3 years and older. Children age 3-17 must be accompanied by a guardian.

Valley Health Center Sunnyvale
Saturday, September 19, 2020, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
660 South Fair Oaks Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Age 12 years and older. Children age 12-17 must be accompanied by a guardian.

Valley Health Center Moorpark, San José
Saturday, September 26, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
2400 Moorpark Ave., San José, CA 95128
Age 12 years and older. Children age 12-17 must be accompanied by a guardian.

Flu shot are also available at Valley Medical Center Pharmacies on weekdays starting September 22. More information: scvmc.org/immunizeflu.

There are many additional sites from October to December. More information about flu shot locations and age requirements and other criteria to get a shot: sccphd.org/flu.

Free flu vaccines are also distributed each year to non-profit organizations and other local public agency providers by the Public Health Department, which receives them from the State of California.

Flu is not COVID-19. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms of the flu may be like those of the common cold but are usually more severe. Symptoms of the flu can be similar to early symptoms of COVID-19 as well, meaning that this year, people with flu symptoms will likely have to get a COVID-19 test and stay home from work and isolate away from their families while awaiting results.

It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective after you get the shot, so getting vaccinated in advance of the arrival of severe flu in the Bay Area offers the best protection.

While flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, it is especially important for pregnant women, children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes.

Health officials advise individuals to take the following steps to protect themselves and loved ones from flu.


  • Get the flu vaccine every year.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick and keep your children home when they are sick.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue.

For more information about flu, visit the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department flu web page, sccphd.org/flu. Find more locations near you that offer flu vaccine using the Vaccine Finder

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Last updated: 9/17/2020 12:13 PM