Getting vaccinated against the flu is especially important this year, to help prevent overloading our medical system which is already stretched by COVID-19.
Health officials are worried about a "twindemic" of flu and COVID-19. People with serious flu
or COVID-19 may need hospitalization, and health systems are bracing for patients who have both at the same time.
There is no vaccine against COVID-19 yet. But flu vaccines are an effective, critical tool in preventing flu.
I received my flu vaccine recently and urge everyone to get theirs as soon as possible.
For a list of the county COVID-19 test sites offering flu vaccines, check the testing webpage.
In West County, the Richmond test site on Nevin Avenue in front of City Hall offers both services, flu shots and COVID-19 testing, free to anyone who lives or works in the county. No appointment is necessary, and you don't need to have symptoms. Walk-in and drive-in services are available.
Anyone is welcome to get tested at a county site, but if you have Kaiser or other coverage, please try this first. Check your health plan's website for information on testing.
Flu season in the Bay Area tends to peak in January or February, but it can be unpredictable - which is why it's best to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Influenza and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms, such as congestion, cough and fever. People who have these symptoms should get tested for COVID-19 right away, to help narrow down a diagnosis.
County health officials recommend monthly COVID-19 testing for all essential workers, and anyone who has regular close contact with people outside of their immediate household, even if you don't have symptoms.
It's also important for all of us to keep wearing face coverings in public, wash our hands frequently, and stay home when sick.
Let's now add getting a flu vaccine to this list of life-saving actions!
Thank you for helping to keep our community healthy!
For more information on the flu click here