Woman sick at home on couch with flu

NEWS // October 23, 2020

Stay Healthy and Active with a Flu Vaccine

Harrison Bolter, Health Information Specialist II, Public Health Services

You want to stay healthy and active. You work hard and you also enjoy time with family and friends here in San Diego County.

Getting sick with the flu is the last thing you need. The flu can make you very sick—too sick to work, attend school, and do all the other activities you enjoy with the people in your life. (Remember to social distance when you meet with people who live outside your home.) You might even end up in the hospital. In certain cases, the flu can be deadly. Last flu season, 108 people in San Diego County died from the flu.

But, here’s some good news: there is a simple way to help protect yourself from the flu. Get a flu shot every year. It only takes a few minutes, but it can save you days or even weeks of being sick and missing out on the important things in your life. Getting an immunization is also a part of the Building Better Health component of Live Well San Diego, a countywide vision to improve the health and well-being of county residents. When people get immunized against the flu and other diseases, they protect their health and the health of the community.

The flu vaccine is important for those around you, too. Your family, friends, and co-workers also need to get the flu vaccine every year. It is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.

Some people are especially vulnerable to complications from the flu. It’s even more important for them to get the flu vaccine. People at high risk for complications include pregnant women, children, seniors and those with health problems, like heart conditions, asthma, diabetes, and immune system disorders. If these people get the flu, they are more likely to become seriously ill and have complications, like pneumonia, or need to be hospitalized. For these vulnerable groups, their chances of dying from flu-related complications are higher than for other people.

The flu vaccine is available all around the County, including at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, public and private health clinics, among many other locations. Some of these places may offer the flu vaccine at low or no cost. You can go to a community health center or a County Public Health Center to receive free flu vaccine.

Here’s a list of some locations in San Diego County where the flu vaccine is available: Flu Vaccine Clinics web page.

Getting flu vaccine is the best way and the most important thing you can do to protect yourself against the flu, but there are other things you can do too. Here are some simple steps you should take to stay healthy and protect the health of those around you, during flu season (and all year long):

• Be sure to wear your face mask whenever you leave home.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and wash your hands.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Germs spread this way.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs that can cause respiratory illnesses like the flu.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• If you are sick, limit your contact with others as much as possible so you don’t spread your infection to them.

For more information about the flu, flu season and the flu vaccine, visit the County of San Diego

Immunization Unit Seasonal Influenza web page.

#FightFlu! Get a flu vaccine.