The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reminds residents it is not too late to receive influenza vaccine to prevent getting the flu. Influenza activity has increased to a level where it is now widespread throughout L.A. County, which is earlier than this has happened in previous seasons.
“Influenza typically peaks in January and February and can linger well into the spring, so vaccination for anyone over 6 months of age is still highly recommended,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer for Los Angeles County. “By getting vaccinated now, you can protect yourself at the time of year when you are most likely to be exposed to the flu virus. Also, remember to wash your hands often with soap and warm water and to stay home when you’re ill to help reduce the spread of the flu to others.”
Influenza Vaccination Recommendations
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated against the flu every year. Flu vaccines are important for everyone, especially for people who are at greater risk for complications and those who live with or care for these individuals. These groups are:
- Pregnant women
- Children who are younger than 5 years of age
- Adults who are 65 years of age and older
- People of any age whose immune system is weakened and those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or conditions affecting the nervous system
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who work or live in nursing homes or long- term care facilities
- Health care personnel and child care workers
As a reminder, some children who are 6 months through 8 years of age should receive a second vaccine dose this flu season for better protection. Parents and guardians who are not certain whether a second dose is due should ask their child’s health care provider.
Influenza Vaccination Resources
Residents are encouraged to contact their regular healthcare provider to schedule an appointment for a flu vaccination. Most insurance plans cover vaccines at no cost to the patient. Many pharmacies also offer flu vaccines and some can bill your insurance company. The health department also offers no-cost flu vaccines at centers throughout L.A. County for residents without health insurance or a regular source of health care. No appointments are needed, but residents should check clinic hours before traveling to a Public Health Center.
Visit http://bit.ly/FluVaccineInfo for:
- An interactive map of pharmacies offering flu vaccinations
- A list of Public Health Clinics and community clinics offering vaccines at a reduced or no-cost
- Flu educational materials
- Flu-related surveillance updates and data Residents may also call the LA County Information Line at 2-1-1 for referrals to flu vaccination sites.