Healthcare officials continue to encourage people to get a flu shot

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The flu is impacting hundreds of thousand and in some cases it's been deadly. (KFSN)

The flu is impacting hundreds of thousands and in some cases, it's been deadly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly two dozen children between the ages of 0 to 17 years old have died because of the flu.

The thought of children dying from the flu terrified father of three Baldemar Garza.

"I didn't want that to happen to my kids so that's why I came," he said.

Garza actually had a harder time finding a flu shot for his kids.

However, he was able to come down to the Fresno County Department of Public Health for their shots.

He now feels a little bit more at ease.

"It just feels like I don't have to worry about it anymore," he explained. "It just feels more comfortable."

Even his 11-year-old daughter Kyra Garza feels more at ease.

"I heard a little kid died, passed away, and it's sad," she said.

She added getting the shot makes her feel better.

Leticia Berber, a health educator with the county, said they've provided about 8,00 vaccines but this year's flu season is still very active. There has been one flu related death in the county.

"This year it's been hitting our community very hard. That H3N2 virus is going around. This strain causes pneumonia, upper repository, which leads individuals to land in the hospital," she explained.

Despite it being almost February she is still encouraging people to get their flu shot.

"The Flu usually peaks in Fresno County around December, January, and February. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become activated in your system. If you received your flu vaccine right now you will have that protection for the entire month of February," Berber said.

She knows the vaccine is not 100 percent effective but added some protection is better than none.

"It's a challenge to come up with the perfect vaccine. In the past year is was only 32% effective. So what does that mean? Well that means it might not protect you against the flu completely but it will give you some defense," she explained. "If you do get sick with the flu vaccine your illnesses will not last as long, you probably will not end up in the hospital and those symptoms will not be as severe."

There are still plenty of places to get the flu shot.

Below is a list of each county and times you can go get a flu shot.

Fresno County

Monday & Wednesdays (Walk-Ins Only) 8-11:30am/1-4: 00 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday (Appointments Only) 8-11:30am/1-4:00pm

For flu info click here.

Kings County

Monday, Thursday, Friday (Appointment Only) 8-11am/1-4:00pm

Tuesday & Wednesday (Walk-Ins) 7:30am-5:00pm

$8 admin fee, but no one will be refused service if unable to pay

For flu info click here.

Tulare County

For their January schedule click here.

For their February schedule click here.

Madera County

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (Appointment Only) 1:30-4:30pm

Wednesday (Walk-Ins) 9-11:30am/1:30-6:00pm

$5 admin fee, but no one will be refused service if unable to pay

For more info click here.

Merced County

Monday 1-6:00pm

Thursday 9-10:30am

Or by appointment

Flu shot costs varies depending on insurance/age of person

For more info click here.

Mariposa County

By appointment only

No charge if done at the Health Department

For more info click here.
Related Topics:
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