With Flu Season Approaching, LB Department of Health Provides Low Cost Flu Shots

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health-tips-fluWhy risk a bad case of the flu? Protect yourself with a flu shot from the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services. Flu season will arrive soon in Southern California, and with flu vaccine in plentiful supply currently, you can protect yourself, your family, your co-workers and the community from the flu by getting a flu shot. Vaccine may be provided to anyone over the age of 6 months of age – all you need to do is make an appointment with the Health Department by calling 562.570.4315. If you are on Medi-Care, please bring your card and the shot is free – for everyone else the shot is available for just $2.

According to Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu is one of the leading causes of death in the nation among people in all age groups. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommend annual seasonal flu vaccine for all children age 6 months to 18 years.

Annual flu shots are always formulated early in the year with the three strains that scientists predict will be likely to cause flu disease in the fall and winter. Flu disease in Southern California is very common from January through March. The three strains of flu in the 2012-13 vaccine are A/California (H1N1), A/Victoria and B/Wisconsin. Two of the strains (A/Victoria and B/Wisconsin) are new this year so most people will have little or no immunity to these vaccine strains; A/California (H1N1) has been available since 2009.

The Health Department also recommends that all persons practice healthy habits to prevent them from getting or transmitting the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick,
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick,
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze,
  • Wash hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer frequently,
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and
  • Eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, take vitamins, exercise, get plenty of rest, do not smoke, and avoid alcoholic beverages.

The Health Department’s vaccination information Shot Line is updated periodically with flu vaccine information, and may be reached at 562.570-SHOT (570.7468). For more information about flu disease and prevention, please visit www.longbeach.gov/health.

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