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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 3:57 am | Fair 41º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Don’t Miss Your Fall Flu Shot

Information on flu shot availability in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties is available from Senior Connection, a specialized information and referral service.  

Every year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications nation-wide, and the majority of those hospitalized are senior citizens. Vaccines can significantly reduce risk of infection and hospitalization from the viruses. 

This year the flu shot is widely available from primary care physicians and most large pharmacies. All of the 2015–16 influenza vaccine is made to protect against the following three viruses:

» an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus

» an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus

» a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus. (This is a B/Yamagata lineage virus)

Some of the 2015–16 flu vaccine is quadrivalent vaccine and also protects against an additional B virus (B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus), a B/Victoria lineage virus.

Many locations are also offering vaccinations for pertussis (whooping cough) and pneumonia.  

The average cost for the flu vaccination this year is $30, and many health insurance plans, including Medicare Part B, cover the cost of vaccinations.  

There are many flu shot events scheduled throughout the community through November, with at least three events offering the shots for free for the uninsured.  

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the flu shot for anyone 6 months or older, especially people with chronic illness, including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or end stage renal disease.  

Remember that by protecting yourself, you are also protecting those you care about from getting the flu from you.

For more information on times dates and locations of flu shot events, call the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizen’s Senior Connection information hotline at 800.510.2020 or 805.928.2552.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman represents the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.

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