Over 86% of healthcare workers at Fresno County hospitals got the flu shot this year

Fresno County will offer 14 flu vaccine clinics starting September 17th.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Headaches, fever, chills, and fatigue - while all these are symptoms of COVID 19, healthcare experts are warning against an additional threat fast approaching.

Valley Children's Hospital infectious disease consultant Dr. Karen Dahl says those 65 and older have the highest mortality rate connected to the flu, but the second highest is children ages 0-4.

Also at high risk: Those who are immune-compromised and those unable to receive the vaccine, including babies six months or younger.

The Madera County hospital leads by example, requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated.

"It's our obligation of healthcare workers to be able to provide safe care for our patients," she said.

Data collected by Action News and ABC Owned television stations shows in the 2018-2019 flu season, of the 18 Central Valley hospitals, Kaweah Delta and Valley Children's rank highest in hospital worker vaccination rates - at 95% or higher.


App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

Only 6 had a rate of 90% or higher.

John C. Fremont Healthcare District in Mariposa County only had a 70% vaccination rate, but they say that's improving by increasing the number of clinics for employees.

"This flu season we don't know what to expect. We don't know if this season is going to hit us hard as the flu is unpredictable," says Fresno County public health educator Leticia Berber.

In Fresno County hospitals, more than 86% of healthcare workers got a flu shot that season.


App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full table in a new window

Berber says this year you'll be able to visibly identify healthcare workers who have been vaccinated, with a purple badge. "As soon as you get that badge, you'll be showing patients that you're vaccinated against the flu and that you care about them as well as your health," she says.

She says now, more than ever, it's important to get your flu vaccine as soon as it's made available to you as it takes 2 weeks to become effective.

Pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS have offered the vaccine since August.

Fresno County will offer 14 flu vaccine clinics starting September 17th.

Berber adds, "Our goal is to keep everyone healthy. When you come to our flu clinics, you're going to be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing."
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.