SANTA BARBARA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH URGES RESIDENTS TO GET FLU SHOTS

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH URGES RESIDENTS TO GET FLU SHOTS

Don’t Delay, Get Vaccinated for Influenza Today

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reminds the community that Flu season has arrived. Flu vaccination will be very important to reduce flu and reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on the community, like COVID-19.  Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health. Flu vaccines are not designed to protect against COVID-19. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death in addition to other important benefits.

The CDC continues to emphasize the importance of flu vaccination beginning in September and for the entire flu season. Do not delay getting a flu vaccine even if the flu activity is low. Flu activity can peak December through February and can last until May. It takes about two weeks after vaccination to develop antibodies that provide protection against flu, so the best action is to get your flu vaccination before the flu virus begins circulating in the community.

Prevention and decreased severity of the flu through vaccination can help alleviate stress on the U.S. health care system. Practice everyday preventive actions to protect your health during the flu season. Wearing a mask and social distancing can help protect you and others from respiratory viruses, like flu and COVID-19. Although the best way to prevent flu illness is for everyone 6 months and older to be vaccinated each year.

Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever before and is the single best way to prevent the flu. Vaccines are available from your regular health care provider as well as retail pharmacies. Many employers, schools, colleges, and universities also offer them. Flu vaccine providers in Santa Barbara County are listed in the Flu Vaccine Resources Flyer. Vaccination events added through the course of the flu season will be listed on County Public Health’s Seasonal Flu page.

Flu shots are covered by Medi-Cal, Medicare and by most insurance plans. The California Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program provides flu vaccine for eligible children at no cost. Check with your child’s provider to see if they participate in the VFC Program. Find more

information about the flu and flu vaccine at www.cdc.gov/flu.