Valley doctors recommend getting vaccinated for the flu

The flu vaccine is recommended for nearly everyone 6 months and older.

Brittany Jacob Image
Saturday, August 20, 2022
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Flu shots are now available at all CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations across the Valley with digital and walk-in appointments.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- School is back in session for most students around the Valley and infectious disease activity is up - including COVID-19, monkeypox, and even the first case of polio in the U.S. in nearly a decade.

Griffin Freed is a dad of three who chose to homeschool his children for the past two years.

Now he's gearing up for his girls to attend in-person classes - with mixed feelings.

"We are excited to get the kids back to socializing and playing, a little nervous about the environment of education these days just with sickness kind of being on the forefront of everyone's mind," Freed says.

Jessica Heinrichs says her son starts preschool next week, and she's ready.

"I do believe that kids are really resilient and that again if you are taking the proper precautions, I'm not too concerned to be honest," she says.

The CDC recommends getting your flu shot before the flu season begins - ideally early fall.

And UCSF Infectious Disease Fellow Dr. Erik Jensen says early vaccinations should be considered for certain groups.

"If it's the first time that a kid is getting vaccinated, usually we recommend that they go earlier or pregnant women will be earlier as well. For other adults we recommend getting vaccinated sometime in September or October," says Jensen.

Health officials say flu most commonly peaks in February, so a winter vaccination is not too late.

Kaiser Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Dee Lacy adds the most important thing is not to skip it altogether.

"If we don't keep up our vaccination program, if they fall apart for one reason or another, we will see diseases happen again," says Lacy.

Flu shots are now available at all CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations across the Valley with digital and walk-in appointments.

The clinics carry multiple flu vaccine options, including the higher dose vaccines recommended for seniors.

"So we want to make sure our community is well vaccinated. The flu vaccine can take up to two to three weeks so see an effect, and it is important to get it as strains change and vary year to year," says CVS District Leader Simrit Dhillon.

The flu vaccine is recommended for nearly everyone 6 months and older.

Doctors say you can also help prevent the spread of all infectious diseases by wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, and staying home when you're sick.