CMHS Centers for Family Health Host Free Flu Shot Clinics
Flu basics: Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. The flu can cause a mild illness or be severe enough to lead to hospitalization or death. The best prevention is by getting a flu vaccine each year!
Flu vs. the common cold – which is it? If you have a cold and think it might be the flu, please see your doctor as soon as possible. The main symptoms of flu are fever, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, cough, and a runny nose; the common cold shares some of these same symptoms.
“If it’s the flu, you’ll want to be seen by a doctor as fast as possible because anti-viral medications that treat the flu need to be started within 48 hours to be really effective,” says Dr. Stan Frochtzwajg, Chief Medical Officer at Community Memorial Health System. “People also need to know that the common cold is not helped by anti-flu medications or antibiotics.”
In conjunction with Ventura County Public Health, the CMHS Centers for Family Health are hosting 12 flu shot clinics in the months of October and November throughout Ventura County. Free flu shots will be provided to people over 60 years old, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, healthcare personnel that provide direct patient care, children 3 to 5 years (need 2 visits) and caregivers of children less than 6 months. Vaccines will be available while supplies last. Click the Center for Family Health near you for location specifics and contact information!
Center for Family Health Camarillo: October 5th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Fillmore: October 12th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Santa Rosa: October 12th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Premiere Health Center Santa Paula: October 12th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Santa Paula: October 19th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Oak View: October 26th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Ventura – Main Street: November 2nd, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Oxnard – Saviers: November 2nd, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Ventura – Ashwood: November 9th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Port Hueneme: November 9th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Oxnard – Vineyard: November 9th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Center for Family Health Oxnard – Airport: November 16th, 2019, 9am – 12pm
Flu vaccine benefits: The flu vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, reduce visits to the doctor, prevent people from missing school or work, and prevent or reduces hospitalizations. The flu vaccine also saves lives! A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in 2017 in Pediatrics showed that flu vaccination significantly reduced a child’s risk of dying from the flu.
Who should get a flu shot: A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months of age and older. Babies under six months are too young to be vaccinated so their best protection is being surrounded by caregivers and family members who are vaccinated.
- Kids: “Any child between the ages of six months and eight years who is having their first season for a flu vaccine should have two doses of vaccine spaced four weeks apart,
and be vaccinated early,” says Dr. Frochtzwajg.
- Seniors: “Senior citizens aged 65 and older should get the stronger vaccine designed specifically for people 65 and older whose immune systems have weakened with age,” says Dr. Frochtzwajg.
Those at risk the most: Don’t risk a hospital stay or a more serious illness! Certain groups of people face the highest risk of complications from the flu. They include babies, the elderly, pregnant women, cancer patients, diabetics, those living in nursing homes, people with HIV/AIDS, and those with asthma, so vaccinations are especially important for them. Also, ask your doctor if you have allergies that could prevent you from being vaccinated.
When to get your flu shot: Don’t want to wait until your co-workers and neighbors are already sick to get your flu vaccine! Get vaccinated before flu begins spreading around the community. Remember, it takes a couple of weeks after vaccination for the antibodies that protect against flu to develop in your body and start protecting you, so get vaccinated now – in early in fall or at least by the end of
October – before flu season is in full throttle. If you’re late, get busy or forget, don’t worry! Just go and get the flu shot anyway. Getting vaccinated later is better than not being vaccinated at all, so if November or December rolls around and you still haven’t got your flu shot, get one as soon as possible. Vaccines should continue to be offered throughout flu season, which has been known to go as late as May.
“There’s no great harm in getting the vaccine earlier than later. This year we saw a lot of late cases,” Dr. Frochtzwajg noted.