Los Angeles County Health Officer Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, would like to remind everyone that a yearly flu vaccine is the most important step in protecting against influenza. Flu vaccination is the best way for people to protect themselves and the ones they care about from influenza.
Public Health will be hosting a number of free flu vaccine clinics at schools, churches, and other community sites. We encourage everyone who wants a flu vaccine to get one, said Dr. Fielding. The time to get a flu vaccine begins in October and extends into March because we sometimes see flu cases as late as May.
The flu vaccine clinic schedule and the listing of LA County Public Health Center locations and hours of operation can be found on the Public Health website at: www.publichealth.lacounty.gov. People who do not have access to the Internet can call the LA County information and referral line by dialing 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone. Operators can assist people in locating a flu vaccine clinic or a Public Health Center near them.
Parents should know that recommendations for flu vaccinations have recently changed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children six months through 18 years of age receive a flu vaccine against influenza every year, unless they have a serious egg allergy. s
When people, especially school-aged children, receive a flu vaccine, they not only protect themselves, they also protect people around them who are susceptible to getting sick, said Dr. Fielding. Flu can easily spread from child-to-child in school settings.
The best way to prevent the spread of flu is to wash your hands often, especially after visiting the restroom, or coming into contact with someone who has flu-like symptoms; cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes; stay home if you are sick or keep your children out of school if they are sick; and get vaccinated against the flu, added Dr. Fielding.
Many pharmacies are also administering the flu vaccine. For these and