Flu season has arrived and public health officials say now is a good time to get vaccinated.
The Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) will begin offering the vaccine Thursday, Oct. 22, at its Public Health Clinic, 529 I St. in Eureka.
A flu vaccine is needed every year to maintain existing immunity because flu viruses are constantly changing. It’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year. The flu vaccine is formulated annually to keep up with the flu viruses as they change.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated.
“You may feel like you don't need a flu shot,” said Susan Buckley, Public Health director for DHHS. “If so, think about getting the vaccine on behalf of those you know who are more vulnerable than you—grandchildren, friends and family who are pregnant or may be immune compromised. You'll stay healthy as well as protecting those around you."
The cost of the flu vaccine is $17, although no one will be turned away for inability to pay. Medicare is accepted. Flu vaccine is offered by appointment only. Appointments will be scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m.
It takes up to two weeks after receiving the flu vaccine to achieve the best protection. Nationally, flu season lasts from October through May. Public Health officials recommend getting the vaccine earlier in the season.
There is more you can do to prevent the spread of the flu in addition to getting a flu shot. Health officials recommend practicing the “3 Cs”: Clean your hands, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough and contain your germs by staying home if you’re sick.
To make an appointment for a flu vaccine, call your health care provider or the Public Health Clinic at 707-268-2108.
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