Now that summer is over, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department is urging everyone older than 6 months to get ahead of flu season and get a flu shot. Because the start of flu season is unpredictable and the flu vaccine takes two weeks to become fully active, officials are recommending everyone to get the flu shot early.
“Public Health focuses on prevention,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Public Health Department director and county health officer. “Flu shots are the best way to protect yourself, your family, and the community from becoming seriously ill with the flu.”
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center hospitals and clinics are rolling out their 2018 Adult Flu Fair, where adults 19 and older can get flu shots while supplies last. The Valley Health Center in Gilroy is offering flu shots on Oct. 20, and Nov. 17 from 10 am to 2 pm. Low-cost or free flu shots are also available at doctor offices and many pharmacies.
“Vaccination not only reduces the risk of catching the flu, but it also reduces the chance that you’ll be hospitalized,” said Dr. George Han, Public Health Department communicable disease controller. “The flu vaccine provides protection and reduce your chances of needing to be hospitalized if you do get sick.”
Other ways to limit the spread of the flu include regular hand washing, limited contact with those who have the flu at work or school, covering your mouth or nose while sneezing, or sneezing into an arm or elbow, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.