Flu shots available for Placer County residents
Flu season has hit again and health officials say it’s time to protect yourself and your loved ones against the infection by getting the vaccine, which is available from health care providers and local pharmacies.
Roseville resident Shannon Dominguez got her flu shot in October.
“It was free. My insurance covered it,” Dominguez said. “I got it last year (too). I haven’t gotten sick since I got it.”
Pete Dzwilewski, director of Sutter Express Care inside Rite Aid on Foothills Boulevard, said his center obtained the flu vaccine in late September and around 400 people have since had the shot.
Everyone 6 months and older should consider getting a flu vaccine each year, according to health officials with the Placer County Health and Human Services Department. Occasionally, an individual may be advised to not get the vaccine due to a complication, such as an egg allergy.
“Influenza can leave you or your family members feeling miserable with fever, cough, runny nose and muscle pain, and unable to go to school or work,” said department Director Dr. Richard Burton, in a news release.
Influenza typically causes the most serious illnesses in the elderly, young children, pregnant women, people with diabetes, heart, lung, kidney or liver disease, conditions affecting the immune system, and those living in long-term care facilities, Burton said.
More than 35,000 Americans die of seasonal flu each year.
Burton recommends that people help prevent the flu by staying home when ill, covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow or using a tissue, and frequent hand-washing or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Avoid close contact with others who are sick.
“Of course, getting a flu shot is also an effective way to reduce your chances of getting the flu,” Burton said.
Children younger than 9 years old getting a flu vaccine for the first time will need two doses.
In addition to the injectable vaccine, Placer County has the vaccine in intranasal form for those who meet medical guidelines.
The pneumococcal vaccine Pneumovax will be available for those who need it, which includes people 65 years of age and older, and those with certain long-term health problems. This vaccine helps prevent bacterial pneumonia, which is more common during the flu season. Residents can check with their doctor to see if they need this vaccine.
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Placer County’s health department recommends everyone gets the flu shot, but said the vaccine is especially important for the following groups:
• Pregnant women
• Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
• People 50 years of age and older
• People with certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart, lung disease, kidney or liver disease and conditions affecting the immune system
• People who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities
• People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
o Health care workers
o Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
o Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
Placer County flu clinic
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. The clinic also administers immunizations 8:30 to noon and 1-4 p.m. Mondays (no appointment necessary).
Where: Roseville Community Clinic, 1130 Conroy Lane, Suite 402 in Roseville
Cost: $20, or free for MediCare members with Part B (must show MediCare cards and not be enrolled in an HMO plan).
Info: (530) 889-7215. For a full schedule of clinics, visit www.placer.ca.gov.