"This month through November is an excellent time to get a flu shot," Woo said. "Flu season starts late November and peaks around mid to late December."
Woo said he encourages children, and adults over 50 to get vaccinated. Even those in the typical healthy adult range (ages 18 to 50) may consider getting a shot, especially those who suffer from asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, a vascular disease or another ailment that could result in a weakened immune system, to get a shot.
"For those who don't have much reserve to fight the flu off, it's a great idea to get vaccinated," he said. "It's also a good idea for people who live in a long-term care facility or are around those in the risk groups."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some should consult a physician before obtaining a shot: people who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, have had a severe reaction to flu shots in the past, have developed Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of previously getting a flu shot, children under six months of age, and people who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever. The latter mentioned should wait until the symptoms lessen.
While one can't get the flu from a vaccination, CDC said people can develop symptoms of soreness where the shot was given, low grade fever and aches for up to two days after being vaccinated.
For more information about the flu, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Every year in the United States, on average 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and; about 36,000 people die from flu.
Symptoms include: fever (usually high), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea also can occur but are more common in children than adults.
Where to get vaccinated
Sutter VNA & Hospice
Children ages 9 and older, adults and seniors can come to Pleasanton Presbyterian Church, 4300 Mirador Drive, from 9:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 14. The cost is $25. Visit www.suttervna.org for more information.
ValleyCare Health System
Flu shots will be available at ValleyCare occupational health clinics in Pleasanton and Livermore and at the mobile health clinic starting Oct. 15. For more information, call 847-3000.
San Ramon Regional Health Center
Free flu shots will be available for seniors Nov. 9 (while supplies last) in the South Building, 7777 Norris Canyon Road, San Ramon. From 9 to 10 a.m., ages 65 and older will receive shots and from 10 a.m. to noon, any adult over 50 will receive shots. soon. Call 800-284-2878 for more information.
Nob Hill Foods
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 12 and 13, Nob Hill Foods on 3112 Santa Rita Road will offer flu and pneumonia shots. Flu shots are $25 for the general public and "free" for individuals with Part B Medicare and no HMO insurance coverage. Pneumonia shots are $40. Visit www.nobhill.com.
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