Health

County Launches Flu Vaccination Campaign

Influenza, regardless of what type, can be deadly. That’s why County health officials want everyone to be immunized to protect themselves and their loved ones against the flu.

 

For the past eight years, the County’s Health and Human Services Agency, the San Diego Immunization Coalition, AARP, and the San Diego Black Nurses Association, have organized a community influenza clinic to kick off a flu vaccination campaign to keep people healthy, a goal of the County’s Live Well, San Diego! initiative. This year’s event took place today at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center in South Encanto.

“The best protection against the flu is to get vaccinated,” said Vice Chairman Greg Cox, County Board of Supervisors. “I already received my shot and I hope every eligible County resident will get their shot too.”

Everyone 6-months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine is especially recommended for people who are at higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu, including people with certain medical conditions, pregnant women and people 65 years and older.

County health officials also released flu statistics from the five seasons when the most influenza-related deaths were reported.

The highest number of influenza-related deaths came at the height of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic when 58 people died in San Diego County.

The second highest total came a year later when 24 deaths were reported; eight due to Pandemic H1N1. Prior to those two years, the highest number of deaths occurred during the 2003-2004 flu season when 22 deaths were recorded. A total of 14 deaths were recorded during the 2005-2006 flu season and in the 2011-2012 flu season.

“Influenza can be a serious and deadly disease; especially for the elderly and young infants, as well as for people with chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., Child Health Medical Officer for the County Health and Human Services Agency

This year’s flu vaccine is expected to offer protection against Pandemic H1N1, Influenza A H3N2 and Influenza B. The vaccine is available throughout San Diego County at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies. County public health centers have flu vaccine available for children and adults with no medical insurance. For a list of locations, visit www.sdiz.org or call 2-1-1.

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact