According to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (SBCPHD), "annual flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and the flu-related complications that could lead to hospitalization, and at times can lead to death." Vaccination of high-risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. Vaccination also is important for healthcare workers, and family caregivers. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000.
Each year’s flu vaccines are made after experts research data regarding viruses that may be circulating for the coming flu season. The US Food and Drug Administration makes the final decision as to which viruses will be included in the vaccines. "Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.
Who Should be Vaccinated?
People who can get the flu shot:
People who can’t get the flu shot or should talk to their doctor first:
Where to Get Vaccinated
Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever before. Vaccines are available from your doctor and at many local pharmacies. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated by the end of October, if possible.
Patients of our Lompoc Valley Medical Center: Physicians Services Clinic can walk-in at anytime during normal busniess hours to recieve thier flu vaccination, no prior schedulking is required!
For information on other locations offering flu vaccinations visit: HealthMap Vaccine Finder.
Other Preventative Steps
- If you are sick, limit your contact with others as much as possible.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to throw the tissue in the trash.
- If a tissue is not handy, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
- Proper hand hygiene is crucial to preventing the spread of illness. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may come in contact with germs like the flu.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, follow public health advice.