Health

No Excuse for Not Getting a Flu Shot

Doctors’ offices have it. So do retail pharmacies and community clinics. It’s the flu vaccine and it’s all over the place.

Don’t’ have health insurance? No problem. You can get the vaccine at a County public health center or a community vaccination clinic.

So, what’s your excuse for not getting a flu shot?

Health officials say there is no valid excuse for avoiding vaccination and there are plenty of reasons to do it. The shot can keep you from getting sick. It can also protect your family and those around you.

“The flu vaccine is safe and effective. Everyone six months or older should get vaccinated to help prevent getting the flu,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Influenza can be very unpredictable and it can be deadly.”

Last flu season, 65 San Diegans died due to complications from influenza. That is the highest number of local deaths in the last decade, even greater than the 58 reported deaths during the H1N1 pandemic.

Although the majority of individuals who died last influenza season were older adults and all but one had pre-existing medical conditions, the deaths serve as a strong reminder for people to get vaccinated.

Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza. Those who should get a vaccination every year include:

  • People with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and lung disease
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live with or care for others who are at higher risk

The influenza vaccines available this season protect against Influenza A H3N2, Pandemic H1N1-like and Influenza B strains.

For more information about influenza or a list of upcoming vaccination events, visit www.sdiz.org. You can call 2-1-1 San Diego to find a list of County locations.

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