Easy access to flu shots in Fresno County

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The start of flu season is just a few weeks away but health officials say now is the time to get a flu shot.

The first of nearly two dozen flu vaccination clinics provided by the Fresno County Department of Health opened to the public Tuesday. And for those skeptics, this year's vaccine got a recipe change that should make it more effective, after last winter's nasty strain of the flu.

Pat Tello with the Fresno County Department of Health said, "This year's flu vaccine has been designed to protect individuals. It has been designed to include three to four strains of the virus."

Health officials say it takes about two weeks for protection to develop after the vaccination. Children, pregnant women and anyone over the age of sixty are considered high risk for getting the flu. Dozens came out to one of the first clinics at Kingsburg Senior Center because they want to be prepared for flu season.

"Oh it's very important, very important because you feel safe from any virus that might come long," said Ophelia Sanchez. "Because I think it protects us from more than just the flu."

Health officials recommend everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated. The flu shots provided by Fresno County only cost $6 but the county accepts medi-cal for children and medi-care part b. A price tag the seniors we spoke with say, is well worth it.

Kingsburg resident, Connie Perez, said, "We take them every year and at our age we just really need to have that protection. You've got to have that little back up."

Fresno County health officials say it's still important to wash your hands frequently this flu season. But the vaccination remains "the best defense against flu."

Tello added, "Get your flu vaccine, protect yourself and protect your loved ones."

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