The Kings County Department of Public Health started offering seasonal influenza vaccines yesterday (Wednesday), with the first Corcoran clinic slated for later this month.
At its Hanford site, the health department will provide flu shots Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 8-11 a.m. and from 1-4 p.m., by appointment; and walk-ins only on Walk-In Wednesday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The health department building is located at 330 Campus Drive.
The first Corcoran clinic will be held Tuesday, Oct. 27. At the health department building located at 1002 Dairy Ave. A second local clinic will be held Nov. 24 and the final clinic will take place in Corcoran Dec. 22. All three will be held between 1-4 p.m.
There will also be clinics scheduled in Avenal and Lemoore for those who cannot attend the local clinics.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health and the Kings County Department of Public Health all recommend that everyone over the age of six months get a flu vaccine. The CDC website states that the vaccine is safe and effective.
In particular, public health officials are encouraging all parents to immunize their young children in an effort to protect them and prevent the spread of influenza. Children under five years of age, whether healthy or not, are more likely to have complications or hospitalizations associated with seasonal influenza.
“We continue to have people in high-risk categories that are not vaccinated, despite the fact that the vaccine is widely available, not only at the health department, but at many other places throughout Kings County,” said Dr. Michael MacLean, the county’s top health official. “young children under the age of five are much less capable of practicing good cough and hand hygiene and therefore they are much more likely to contract and spread influenza.”
The CDC recommends the “Take 3” approach to fighting the flu:
–First, take the time to get a vaccine;
–Second, take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs by limiting contact with others while sick, covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and put used tissue in the waste basket; cough into the upper sleeve if a tissue is not available, wash hands with soap and warm water; and
–Three, take flu antiviral drugs if a doctor prescribes them.
See a doctor if the following symptoms are present: fast or troubled breathing, blue skin, refusal to drink fluids, not waking up, a child too irritable to be held, pain or pressure in the abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting symptoms that improve, then return worse than before.