Influenza, regardless of what type, can be deadly, say county health officials, adding they want everyone aged 6 months and older to be immunized.
“The best protection against the flu is to get vaccinated,” Supervisor Greg Cox said today. “I already received my shot and I hope every eligible county resident will get their shot too.”
The vaccine is especially recommended for people who are at higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu, including people with certain medical conditions, pregnant women, and people 65 years and older.
The highest number of influenza-related deaths came at the height of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic when 58 people died in San Diego County, health officials reported
The second highest total came a year later when 24 deaths were reported—eight due to H1N1. Prior to those two years, the highest number of deaths occurred during the 2003-04 flu season when 22 deaths were recorded. A total of 14 deaths were recorded during the 2005-06 and the 2011-12 flu seasons.
“Influenza can be a serious and deadly disease; especially for the elderly and young infants, as well as for people with chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., child health medical officer for the County Health and Human Services Agency
This year’s flu vaccine is expected to offer protection against Pandemic H1N1, Influenza A H3N2, and Influenza B. The vaccine is available throughout San Diego County at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies.
County public health centers have flu vaccine available for children and adults with no medical insurance. For a list of locations, visit sdiz.org or call 2-1-1.