Nearly 800 residents came out Tuesday for the free flu clinic put on by San Benito County Public Health Services.
The local public health agency put on the clinic over a five-hour period Tuesday at the Veterans Memorial Building with winter coming and an early flu season under way.
“Flu season is off to an early start this year and Santa Clara County has already reported two deaths, making it even more important to get the flu shot as soon as possible,” stated Sam Perez, public information officer San Benito County Public Health Services.
Perez went on:
“Public Health Services staff and volunteers from Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, Gavilan College Nursing program, community nurses and local pharmacists provided over 780 flu vaccinations at the annual mass flu vaccination clinic. This is really an amazing voluntary effort to keep our community healthy through this upcoming flu season.”
Perez said those who couldn’t make it to the flu clinic can always call public health and get their flu shots at the office located at 351 Tres Pinos Rd, suite A-202. The phone number is (831) 637-5367.
According to public health services:
Influenza is a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, particularly in young children, older adults and people with certain medical conditions. Getting an influenza vaccine — though not 100% effective — is the best way to prevent the misery of the flu and its complications.
In general, who should get the flu vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated annually against influenza. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of influenza complications, including:
· Pregnant women
· Older adults
· Young children
Children between 6 months and 8 years may need two doses of the flu vaccine, given at least four weeks apart, to be fully protected. A 2017 study showed that the vaccine significantly reduces a child’s risk of dying of the flu. Check with your child’s doctor.
Can the vaccine give me the flu?
No. The flu vaccine can’t give you the flu. But you might develop flu-like symptoms — despite getting a flu vaccine — for a variety of reasons, including:
· Reaction to the vaccine. Some people experience muscle aches and a fever for a day or two after receiving a flu vaccine. This may be a side effect of your body’s production of protective antibodies.
· Other illnesses. Many other illnesses, such as the common cold, also produce flu-like symptoms. So you may think you have the flu when you actually don’t.
Even when the vaccine doesn’t completely prevent the flu, it may lessen the severity of your illness and the risk of serious complications.
Can I lower my risk of the flu?
The flu vaccine is your best defense against the flu, but there are additional steps you can take to help protect yourself from the flu and other viruses. These steps include the following:
· Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water.
· Use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your hands if soap and water aren’t available.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible.
· Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area.
· Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet and manage your stress.
· You can also help prevent the spread of the flu by staying home if you do get sick.
For more information regarding the flu and/or the upcoming clinic, please call Public Health Services at (831) 637-5367 or go to our website at http://hhsa.cosb.us/.
Photo courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.