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Public Health Officials Announce It's Time To Get Vaccinated for the Flu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2018

Media Contact:
Britt Ehrhardt, Public Health Communications Officer
County of Santa Clara Public Health Department
(408) 792-5155

Free and reduced priced flu shots available in many locations

County of Santa Clara, CA – The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department urges everyone six months and older to get their flu shot early before the flu virus starts going around. The flu vaccine helps stop the spread of the flu and protects everyone’s health. The start of the flu season is unpredictable and the vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective.

Vaccines are available at doctors’ offices, and many pharmacies provide free and low cost flu vaccinations to the public.

“Public Health focuses on prevention,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Public Health Department Director and County Health Officer. “Flu shots are the best way to protect yourself, your family, and the community from becoming seriously ill with the flu.”

It is important to get the flu vaccine every year because flu strains change over time. Timely flu shots help prevent a disease that hospitalizes hundreds of thousands, and kills tens of thousands of Americans every year.

“Vaccination not only reduces the risk of catching the flu, it also reduces the chance that you’ll be hospitalized,” said Dr. George Han, Public Health Department Communicable Disease Controller. “The flu vaccine provides protection and reduce your chances of needing to be hospitalized if you do get sick.”

In most cases, people should not visit the emergency room for flu symptoms but may call their doctor. People who experience symptoms should stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever goes away to prevent spreading the infection to others. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue.

Help stop the spread of germs by practicing good hand washing and health habits:

  • Limit your contact with others and stay home from work or school if you are ill.
  • If you don’t have a tissue to cough into, cover your nose and mouth with your elbow or arm.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Certain groups may experience complications from the flu and should contact their healthcare provider immediately. These groups include pregnant women, children younger than five years old, adults 65 and older, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes.  Doctors can prescribe antiviral medications that reduce the severity and duration of illness. Anyone who is very sick should go to the emergency room for treatment.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center: Hospital and Clinics
2018 Adult Flu Fair
Must be 19 years or older.
No cost while supplies last.
Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

  • Valley Health Center Downtown: September 29 and October 27
  • Valley Health Center East Valley: October 13 and November 3
  • Valley Health Center Gilroy: October 20 and November 17
  • Valley Health Center Lenzen: October 20 and November 17
  • Valley Health Center Milpitas: October 20 and November 17
  • Valley Health Center Moorpark: September 29, October 13 and 27, and November 3
  • Valley Health Center Sunnyvale: October 13 and November 3
  • Valley Health Center Tully: September 29 and October 27

The Public Health Department’s website and social media pages are resources for county residents during flu season: sccphd.org/flu. View more data about influenza in our county on the Public Health Department’s Open Data Portal: sccphd.org/healthdata.

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About the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department

The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department focuses on protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, disease and injury prevention, and the promotion of sound health policy.

To learn more about how the Public Health Department serves the people who live, work, study and play in Santa Clara County, please visit our website: sccphd.org, and follow us on Facebook facebook.com/sccpublichealth and Instagram @SCC_PublicHealth.

Last updated: 9/18/2018 8:49 AM