The number of flu cases in Northern California flu season is expected to increase as flu season continues into March.
“We’re approaching the peak of the influenza season, which means your chances of catching the flu are increasing every day,” said Dr. Mark Starr, Placer County Director of Community Health. “It may take as long as two weeks after receiving the vaccine to be protected, so, if you haven’t been vaccinated yet this season, get your flu shot as soon as possible.”
Placer County Health and Human Services still has flu vaccine available for everyone who wants a flu shot, and is making it available through the county’s regular community clinics in Auburn, Roseville and North Lake Tahoe. No appointments are necessary.
Clinics are held as follows:
· Wednesdays in Roseville, from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 at 1130 Conroy Lane, Suite 402. For more information please call 916-784-6444, or toll free within the county call 1-800-488-4308 ext. 6444.
· Thursdays in North Lake Tahoe, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 8665 Salmon Avenue in Kings Beach. For more information please call 530-546-1970.
· Fridays in Auburn, from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1p.m. to 4 p.m. at 11584 B Avenue. For more information please call 530-889-7215 or toll free within the county call 1-800-488-4308 ext. 7215.
Anyone who wants a flu shot may come to the clinic. Cost for the flu vaccine is $10. Medicare Part B cards are accepted.
Earlier this season, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health had recommended that the groups listed below receive flu vaccinations as a priority, however the county has plenty of flu vaccine available for other people as well. “Everyone should be immunized – please get vaccinated to protect yourself, and to reduce the chances that you might spread the flu to someone close to you,” Dr. Starr added.
People in these groups are considered to have the greatest need of a flu shot:
- Adults aged 50 and older.
- All women who will be pregnant during influenza season.
- Children 6 months to 5 years of age.
- Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
- Healthcare workers with direct patient care. New state law requires acute care hospitals to offer vaccine to all employees free of charge.
- Individuals with underlying chronic medical conditions.
- Individuals who live with or care for an elderly individual or a child less than 5 years of age.
Children younger than nine years of age getting a flu vaccine for the first time will need two doses of flu vaccine.
Seasonal flu can be a very serious disease for people who are at greatest risk, and on average more than 35,000 Americans die of seasonal flu each year. About 226,000 are hospitalized due to influenza and its complications. Combined with pneumonia, it is the 8th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association.
The county’s flu hotline is 530-889-7161. Information is also available on the county web site, www.placer.ca.gov.