Health officers urge flu shots
While no unusual influenza activity has been noted in the southern San Joaquin Valley, health officers here don’t expect their counties will continue to be spared.
To prevent an outbreak, the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, along with the public health departments of Kern, Kings, Madera and Merced counties, is urging anyone who has not been vaccinated against the influenza virus to do so.
“We cannot predict when our counties will be affected,” an HHSA press release issued Thursday states. “Vaccination is the best means available of preventing influenza.”
Health officers recommend that everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated within the next week or so.
Certain groups of persons are at high risk for complicated influenza and benefit more from the vaccine, including anybody with a chronic medical condition that requires frequent medical attention, pregnant women, anybody who will have contact with an infant less than six months old during the flu season, children under five and adults 55 and older.
Tulare County has expanded its flu clinic schedule to accommodate the expected influx of patients.
Vaccination of health care providers is also encouraged to prevent transmission of the virus from the provider to high-risk patients.
At this time, the vaccine is widely available in the community in many clinics, most pharmacies and at local health departments.
“Protecting yourself with immunization also helps prevent you from spreading the flu to your family members, friends and coworkers,” the release further states. “In the case of those at high risk for complicated influenza, vaccination could be lifesaving.”
Upcoming flu clinics in Tulare County
- Tuesday, Jan. 22
From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Porterville Church of the Nazarene, 2005 W. Olive Ave.
From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Porterville College, 100 E. College Ave.
- Wednesday, Jan. 23
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Lindsay Healthy Start, 475 E. Honolulu St., Lindsay
- Thursday, Jan. 24
From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Hilman Annex, 1150 S. K St., Tulare
- Friday, Jan. 25
From 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Hillman Annex, 1150 S. K St., Tulare
-Monday, Jan. 28
Form 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Hillman Annex, 1150 S. K St., Tulare
-Tuesday, Jan. 29
From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Alta Vista School, 2293 E. Crabtree St., Porterville
-Wednesday, Jan. 30
From 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Earlimart Elementary School, 192 S. Church St.
-Thursday, Jan. 31
From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Hillman Annex, 1150 S. K St., Tulare
The schedule can also be found on the HHSA website at www.tularehhsa.org under the public health tool bar and on the agency’s Facebook page.