Flu shot recommendations

Fall is approaching, and it’s time for an annual flu shot. According to the Center for Disease Control, individuals can begin getting their shots in October, but as late as January it will still be effective for the season.

Seniors 65 and older can get an extra strong shot called the Fluzone High-Dose. The vaccine contains four times the antigen (the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses) of standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccines. The higher dose of antigen in the vaccine is intended to give older people a better immune response and better protection against the flu.

Protection from vaccine can take up to two weeks to develop but lasts through the season, so it is recommended to get the flu vaccine early, before the disease is in the community.

Where to Get Vaccinated

The flu vaccine will be available throughout Contra Costa County beginning in the fall. Ongoing public health immunization clinics will begin offering the flu vaccine in October.

For the general public:

Check with your regular health care provider.

Visit ongoing public health immunization clinics.

Community clinics will also offer flu vaccine — call the clinic for details.

Pharmacies and grocery stores will have the flu vaccine available.

Visit www.flushot.healthmap.org (check selected clinic for details)

For community members with the Contra Costa Health Plan (CCHP)

Health Centers will offer walk-in flu clinics for Health Plan members beginning in October. Please bring your CCHP member card.

Health Plan members who cannot come to a walk-in clinic can see their doctor or call 800-495-8885 for a treatment nurse appointment.

For community members with the Contra Costa Health Plan (CCHP) or who belong to the Community Provider Network (CPN)

CCHP and CPN members 10 years and older can get flu vaccine from RiteAid and Walgreens beginning Sept. 1. Please bring your CCHP member card.

For community members with Kaiser Permanente health insurance Kaiser members can call the Kaiser Flu Hotline: 800-573-5811 (800-KP-FLU-11).