Flu Shot Event Has Several Points

It wasn’t just children who sometimes made a fuss when they got their free flu shots on Thursday. Sometimes, the adults were the ones wearing a grimace and bracing for the needle.

Hundreds of East County residents received free flu shots from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency at the Ronald Reagan Community Center in El Cajon. They also took advantage of free depression screenings in the morning and older adults received a free pneumonia shot.

“My daughter who works at UCSD called me and told me about the shots,” said Mary Ellen Wessinger of El Cajon. “She’s my watchdog. “I usually get a shot every year – so here I am. It’s free. That was the best part,” she said. “And all the people working were wonderful.”

The purpose of the free flu shots is two-fold: provide the community with the opportunity to get immunized against the flu and allow the County to practice dispensing shots to a large group of people in the event of an emergency.

“It really is multi-purpose,” said Martha Bartzen, Public Health Nurse manager for the East Region Public Health Center. “It protects people from influenza and prepares County employees for mass vaccinations.”

The CDC recommends that people 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu. For the 2011-2012 influenza season, the vaccine will be available at doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies and other locations around the County. People over 60 years old and people without health insurance or a medical provider may get the flu vaccine at one of the County’s seven Public Health Centers. List of times and locations

“It’s important for everyone to get a shot to be healthy and thriving,” said Bartzen. “We are barely at the start of the flu season.”