Long Beach Health Department Hosts Free Flu Vaccine Clinic at Veterans Park November 1

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/mccord/ Photo by Lance McCord

Photo by Lance McCord

On Thursday, November 1, 2012, the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) will host a special flu vaccination clinic from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Veterans Park in Long Beach, 101 W. 28th Street. Seasonal flu vaccines will be provided free of charge to the community at large.

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season, including 2009 Pandemic H1N1.

This clinic marks the first effort of four health jurisdictions – Long Beach, Pasadena, Los Angeles County, and Orange County – to test a collaborative process for dispensing vaccines to the public. Each jurisdiction has established protocols to activate Points of Dispensing (PODs), systems that are used to rapidly deliver antibiotics and vaccines in the event of a disease outbreak (such as the 2009 H1N1 pandemic or a terrorist attack); however, this clinic will identify opportunities for improvement and further enhance regional plans and capabilities.

Who Should Get the Flu Vaccine:
Everyone over 6 months old should get the flu vaccine each year. By getting the vaccine, people can protect themselves from seasonal flu and may also avoid spreading the flu to others. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for severe illness from flu and their close contacts, healthcare personnel, and close contacts of children younger than 6 months. Adults and children need one dose of the flu vaccine each year, but some younger children may need a booster to be fully protected.

Certain people should talk with their doctor before getting a flu shot. This includes people who have had a severe allergic reaction to eggs or to a previous flu shot, people who have had Guillain–Barré Syndrome, or anyone with a fever just prior to vaccination. The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated, but it’s also important to remember to use healthy habits like covering coughs, washing hands, and staying home when sick.

This clinic is made possible by grant funding from the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Health Department is also sponsoring a series of flu vaccine clinics for people age 60 and older and adults ages 18 – 59 who are at high-risk for serious complications from influenza. For more information about flu clinics, visit www.longbeach.gov/health, or call the 24-hour Public Health Information line at 562.570.4499.

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