Flu season is always unpredictable, but maybe even more so this year. We had little to no flu season at all in 2020, likely because of COVID-19 preventive measures like wearing masks and keeping our distance from one another.
For that reason, we don’t really know what an active flu season combined with widely circulating COVID-19 will look like, but there is a good possibility that getting both viruses at the same time could be very, very serious. That’s why it is so important to get vaccinated against the flu. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older.
Health departments in the Coastal Health District will start giving flu vaccine on Monday, October 4th, by appointment. Some county health departments will also be holding drive-through flu vaccination clinics. Details can be found here: Coastal Health District Flu Vaccine Information.
More information about the flu & flu vaccine:
- Flu activity usually peaks between December and February, but flu season can last as late as May.
- Flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk.
- It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the immune system to fully respond to the vaccine and provide the body protection.
- Children 6 months through 8 years old who getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses of the vaccine.
- The flu vaccine might cause some mild side effects such as low grade fever, aches, or redness/swelling where the shot was given but it cannot cause the flu.
- People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, heart disease, diabetes and lung disease and people 65 years of age and older.
- A flu vaccine is an easy way to help “flatten the curve” of flu illness. The more who are people vaccinated, the more people are protected.
- The flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death by about half.
- Call your local health department to make an appointment for a flu shot.
- Herramientas de Comunicación en Español
Influenza & COVID-19
We don’t know what kind of impact COVID-19 will have on this year’s flu season. COVID-19 and flu have several things in common, including symptoms and how the viruses spread.
NOTE: Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.
Get the latest on flu and COVID 19:
Flu & COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Flu & COVID-19: Similarities and Differences
Download the Coastal Health District’s General Vaccine Consent form, fill it out, and take it with you to the health department to save some time when going to get your flu vaccine:
Flu Vaccine Consent Form
Review vaccine information here:
Flu Inactive (shot) Vaccine Information Statement
Flu Inactive (shot) Vaccine Information Statement SP
Flu Live (intranasal) Vaccine Information Statement
Flu Live (intranasal) Vaccine Information Statement SP
School Flu Vaccine Information
School Flu Vaccine Consent Forms
Everyday Actions to Prevent Flu
While getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, there are other things we can all do every day to prevent getting or spreading the flu viruses and other viruses.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- Try to cough or sneeze into the corner of your elbow and not your hand or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
How to clean and disinfect schools to slow the spread of flu
Flu Guide for Parents
Flu Guide for Parents (SP)
More information on the flu can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.