Timely Flu Vaccination Can Spare You Holiday Headache
Monday, November 12, 2013
Before family and friends arrive at your door, before crowding into the mall for holiday shopping, before boarding an airplane – now is the perfect time to protect yourself from the flu. For many people, early November represents a lull before the holiday storm, the last point in the year when it’s relatively easy to visit the doctor or stop in at a clinic for a quick vaccination that could spare them a serious holiday headache, along with body aches, fever and other symptoms.
Contra Costa Health Services encourages county residents to take the small step of getting a flu vaccine to help keep themselves and their families healthier all winter. The weekly Public Health Immunization Clinics in Brentwood, Concord, Pittsburg and Richmond are good places for anyone to quickly and inexpensively receive this season’s vaccine.
“Nobody likes getting sick. That is especially true during the holidays,” said Paul Leung, Immunization Coordinator for Contra Costa Health Services’ Public Health Division. “The season can be stressful enough without worrying about the flu.”
The flu is a respiratory disease that can keep someone home for three to five days. It can also cause severe illness and even death in the most vulnerable populations, such as the very old and very young. An infected person could be contagious 24 hours before experiencing symptoms, which may include headache, body aches, fever and cough.
"The flu poses the greatest danger for young children, those with health issues, and seniors, who can be infected by relatives who did not get vaccinated," Leung said. "Everyone older than 6 months should get vaccinated, especially pregnant women, young children, those with chronic health conditions such as diabetes or asthma, seniors, and anyone who will be around these groups."
Vaccine is also available as a nasal spray for certain people 2 years through 49 years of age. People should contact their health care provider for a vaccine. Vaccine is also available at local pharmacies and grocery stores. You can also find it at CCHS’ Public Health Immunization Clinics:
- 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays at 39th Street and Bissell Avenue, First Floor, in Richmond;
- 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays at 171 Sand Creek Road, Suite A, in Brentwood;
- 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays at 2311 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg;
- 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays at 2355 Stanwell Circle in Concord.
For more information about clinic schedules, or about flu immunizations provided by Contra Costa Health Services, call 1-800-246-2494 or visit www.cchealth.org/flu.
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