The first case of flu this season has been confirmed in Long Beach, and the City’s health department, with assistance from the American Red Cross, has announced dates for this year’s annual flu clinics, starting on Oct. 10.
“Everyone age 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine each year, especially those with a health condition that may increase their risk of serious complications from the flu,” said Dr. Mitchell Kushner, Long Beach City Health Officer.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has also confirmed flu cases, suggesting an early start to this year’s flu season.
By getting the vaccine, people can protect themselves from seasonal flu and may also avoid spreading the flu to others, according to the health department.
Flu shots are especially important for people at high risk of serious complications from the flu, including people ages 60 and older, pregnant women, caregivers of seniors or infants, and anyone with an underlying chronic medical condition (such as heart or lung condition) or those who are immune-compromised such as persons with HIV/AIDS, on dialysis, or receiving cancer treatment.
Residents should contact their regular doctor for information on where and when they can get a flu shot, according to the health department. Many private providers have already received flu vaccine and are making it available to their patients. In addition, some neighborhood pharmacies are providing flu vaccine to the public at a low fee.
Flu shots will be provided free at all neighborhood flu clinics listed. Appointments will also be accepted at the health department during regular business hours by calling (562) 570-4315 (a small administrative fee may apply). Adults with Medicare Part B or other insurance are urged to bring their Medicare/insurance card to their appointment. Parents should bring their children’s immunization records– some children will need two doses of the vaccine given one month apart depending on their immunization history. No appointment is needed at the following sites:
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2pm to 7pm
Long Beach Health Department main facility
2525 Grand Ave.
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 9am to noon
McBride Park/Cal Rec Center
1550 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.
Monday, Oct. 28, 9am to noon
American Gold Star Manor
3021 N. Gold Star Drive (enter on Spring Street)
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 9am to noon
Long Beach Senior Center
1150 E. 4th St.
Thursday, Nov. 7, 9am to noon
El Dorado Park Senior Center
2800 Studebaker Rd.
Thursday, Nov. 14, 9am to noon
Houghton Park Community Center
6301 Myrtle Ave.
Monday, Nov. 18, 9am to noon
4600 Long Beach Blvd.
Thursday, Dec. 12, 9am to noon
130 Cherry Ave.
The health department also recommends that all persons practice healthy habits to prevent getting or transmitting the flu:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Stay home from work or school if sick
• Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
• Wash hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer frequently
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
• Eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, take vitamins, get plenty of rest, do not smoke, and avoid alcoholic beverages
For more information, call the health department’s vaccination information line at (562) 570-SHOT (570-7468).
Source: City of LB