FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Clinics across the county kicked off this month to help individuals stay protected against the flu.
"The flu season is upon us. It really starts kind of towards the end of September, and it goes all the way through April. So September and October are the best time to get vaccinated against the flu," said Jesus Rodriguez, M.D., at Kaiser Permanente.
Kaiser kicked off their flu clinics on September 11 at all their locations across the region.
On Wednesday, the county public health department started vaccinating people at the Sierra Oaks Senior Center.
Diane Pratt says the opportunity is helpful for those who live in the mountain community.
"A lot of the people up here don't go down to the Valley. They stay up here to do everything, so having it accessible is really important," said Diane Pratt with the Sierra Oaks Senior Center.
Adding protection is essential for our older population.
"Extremely important because you need all of the armor you can get, especially at this age, to take care of yourself and make sure that you're still able to function," said Pratt.
Kaiser doctor Jesus Rodriguez agrees. He says kids are also at risk.
"The people that are most at risk of dying from the flu are 65-year-olds, and over each year, we have about 25,000 people that die from the flu. And it's not all the elderly. Even young children can die from the flu," said Rodriguez.
Children most likely to be impacted are six months to 8 years old, and he says symptoms to be aware of include body aches, a fever, chills, sneezing, and coughing.
Rodriguez also says now is the best time to get all vaccinations ahead of the later months.
"This winter could potentially be a very bad winter for viral infections. We have influenza on its way we have RSV and COVID-19. So it's important to get vaccinated for all of them if you qualify," said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says you can get the flu, RSV, and covid vaccines at the same time.