Health

San Diegans Urged to Get a Flu Shot

a medical professional gives a flu shot to a woman
A flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

While influenza activity in the region is extremely low compared to other seasons, County health officials are urging San Diegans to get vaccinated to prevent getting sick.

Dec. 6 through Dec. 12 is National Influenza Vaccination Week and a perfect time for you and your family to get a flu shot.

“With widespread transmission of novel coronavirus in our community, it’s so important everyone over six months old get a flu shot this year,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.  “Every flu case prevented means more resources available to defeat COVID-19. And not only are you safer but you are helping others.”

Influenza is a serious respiratory illness and can make you very sick, cause you to miss work, school, and time that should be spent enjoying the holiday season. The flu can even be deadly for some people. Last season in San Diego County, 108 people died from the flu.

“The flu vaccine is the best way to protect against influenza,” Wooten said.

Your Best Shot Against the Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop.

Flu vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza. They include:

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

The influenza vaccine is now available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies and is covered by medical insurance. People with no health care coverage can get vaccinated at one of the County’s six public health centers or a local community clinic. To find the nearest location, visit the County’s Flu Vaccine Locations page or call 2-1-1 San Diego.

Tips to Prevent the Flu

In addition to getting vaccinated, people should also do the following to avoid getting sick:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often
  • Use hand sanitizers
  • Stay away from sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others

Last season, a total of 20,711 lab-confirmed flu cases were reported in the region.

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