San Diego County health officials encourage vaccination ahead of flu season

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diegans should get their flu shots before the flu season typically starts, county health officials said Wednesday.

Most flu cases are reported between the end of October and April or May, according to the County Health and Human Services Agency.

It takes about two weeks after receiving the flu shot to develop immunity to the virus, said officials.

“People should get vaccinated before the worst of the flu season gets here,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The vaccine is safe and effective and is available across the region.”

342 people in San Diego County died of the virus during the last flu season, officials said. Most of the deaths were among those over 65, with underlying medical conditions. The high total was due to the severe flu season, along with extensive monitoring.

RELATED: Where you can get a free flu shot in San Diego County

No one has died so far this flu season, compared to one death at this point last year.

Total cases are down for 2018 with 83 flu illnesses compared to 259 at this time during the last flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months and older get vaccinated.

Flu vaccines are available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies. For a list of locations to receive a free flu vaccine, click here.

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