Flu Shot

Health officials from across the Bay Area are asking the public to fight the flu by getting the annual vaccination for influenza right now. Each winter, people sick with flu crowd hospitals and urgent care clinics, resources that may be strained due to COVID-19. Early and timely flu shots can prevent a disease that hospitalizes 200,000 Americans every year.

It is important to get a new flu vaccine each year. The flu vaccine offers protection for many months, but not forever. Also, the strains of influenza circulating in the community change over time, and the current vaccine offers protection against those strains.

To keep yourself and your family out of the hospital, doctors recommend an annual flu shot for everyone age 6 months or older. The flu shot is a safe, effective way to reduce your chance of missing work or ending up in the hospital due to severe flu. Symptoms of the flu can be similar to early symptoms of COVID-19, meaning that this year, people with flu symptoms may require a COVID-19 test and may need to stay home from work and isolate away from their families while awaiting results.

It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective after you get the shot, so getting vaccinated in advance of the arrival of severe flu in the Bay Area offers the best protection.

While the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, it is especially important for pregnant women, children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. People who live in the same household with someone at high risk can help protect that person from severe flu by getting a flu shot.

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