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|For Immediate Release:
October 19, 2017
|For more information contact:
Public Health Communications
|Get the Flu Shot to Prevent the Spread of Influenza
77 deaths were attributed to flu in Los Angeles County last season
|LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is reminding everyone six months of age and older to get an annual flu vaccine. Influenza (the flu) vaccinations will be available at no-cost to residents at Public Health Centers, public libraries and more than 100 community vaccination events throughout the county. Flu vaccination is also available at community clinics, pharmacies or through regular healthcare providers.
“Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer for Los Angeles County. “Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop full immunity, we encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible to reduce their risk for getting the flu.”
For the fourth consecutive year, LA County Library will partner with Public Health to provide free flu vaccines at seventeen community libraries throughout the county.
“Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Visit your local library and get a flu shot while you are there,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health “We appreciate the ongoing partnership with LA County Library to make flu vaccinations available at no-cost to residents at libraries throughout the county.”
“The Library’s mission is to provide free resources to our customers,” said Skye Patrick, LA County Library Director. “Our partnership with Department of Public Health allows us to bring a service that is useful to everyone at locations that are accessible to all.”
During the 2016-2017 season, there were 77 deaths confirmed to be caused by influenza in Los Angeles County. While anyone can get sick with the flu and become severely ill, some people are more likely to experience severe illness. Young children, adults aged 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic medical conditions are among those groups of people who are at high risk of serious flu complications, possibly requiring hospitalization and sometimes resulting in death.
Vaccination Recommendations The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated against the flu every year. This year’s flu vaccine has been updated to match viruses that are expected to circulate this flu season. Flu vaccines are important for everyone, especially for people who are at greater risk for complications and those who live with or care for these individuals. These groups are:
The CDC does not recommend the nasal spray this flu season. Studies found the nasal spray offered little or no protection for children 2 through 17 years of age last season.
Vaccination Resources Residents without health insurance or a regular source of healthcare can get a free vaccine at a Public Health Center or community vaccination event. No appointments are needed. Residents can call the LA County Information Line at 2-1-1 for locations and referrals to flu vaccination sites.
Influenza vaccination requirements for healthcare and childcare personnel can be found here: publi chealth.lacounty.gov/acd/Flu.htm.
Visit publichealth.laco unty.gov for:
Due to recent concerns over Hepatitis A outbreak, some flu shot clinics will also make hepatitis A vaccination available to at-risk individuals, including persons who are homeless, active drug users, and those who provide services and support to those individuals.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of over 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichea lth.lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lap ublichealth, facebook.co m/lapublichealth and youtube.com/ lapublichealth.