San Benito County Public Health Services surpassed its expectations for participation in the free flu clinic held this week in downtown Hollister.
Public Health hosted a flu clinic Tuesday afternoon and evening at the Veterans Memorial Building. Public Health Spokeswoman Sam Perez told San Benito Live that the agency vaccinated 978 community members in five hours.
Perez called it a “great turnout” and noted that the emergency services specialist averaged about three and a half minutes for attendees to go through the flu clinic from beginning to end.
According to a Public Health press statement released before the clinic:
“Getting vaccinated is the best protection against flu illness,” said Dr. Gail Newel, Health Officer, San Benito County Public Health Services. “You can prevent missing work or school, visits to the doctor or hospitalizations, and protect others from coming down with the flu.”
A person with flu may be contagious and infect others before they even feel sick.
Each year, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and, sometimes, thousands or tens of thousands of deaths in the United States. Last winter’s flu season resulted in the deaths of 80,000 Americans, with 900,000 hospital admissions.
Common symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish, a cough and/or sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, chills, fatigue and body aches. Children may also have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
To reduce this risk, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends the annual flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older. While anyone can get flu, pregnant women, children under five, adults 65 years of age and older, and people with chronic conditions such as heart disease and asthma are particularly at risk for flu-related complications. Flu shots are needed every year to maintain the greatest protection because the vaccine changes each season to match the circulating viruses.
To stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses, you should also:
- Stay home while sick and limit contact with others
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or disposable tissue
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth