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.
“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 December 12th, 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.
County Health System no-cost flu shot services available to the public
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
Car entrance for general parking: Gate D, 2542 Monterey Road, San José, CA 95111