Free Influenza Vaccination
Del Norte County Public Health provides FREE flu vaccines each flu season through our field flu clinics. Flu season is here and getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever to protect yourself, your family, and our community! Getting a flu vaccine this fall can reduce your risk of flu and flu complications and help save medical resources needed to care for people with COVID-19.
This year, Public Health is partnering with other organizations to provide drive-thru and walk-in clinics around the community. Come to any of these flu clinics to get your FREE flu shot and help protect our community!
For more information, please visit the Public Health website.
Influenza, or "the flu" is a leading cause of illness in the United States and can lead to serious medical conditions, hospitalization, or even death. The flu is caused by the influenza virus which infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu season are unpredictable and typically begin in the early fall and last late into the spring. Preventing the spread of influenza is very similar to what we do to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs can spread easily this way.
Stay home when you are sick and limit your contact with others as much as possible.
Flu Season and COVID-19
Another respiratory illness on top of the COVID-19 pandemic could overburden our healthcare system, strain our capacity for testing, and increase the risk of catching both diseases at once. First, while the effectiveness of the flu vaccine can range, the vaccine also lowers your risk of developing serious illness from the flu, and any reduction in flu cases or severity can help make a difference for hospital capacity. Second, the test used to diagnose influenza are essentially the same used to diagnose COVID-19--a PCR test. The same reagents are needed for both tests and a demand for both tests could lead to shortages. Third, although it's too soon to tell what the effects of being infected with both the flu and COVID-19 would be, experts are speculating that it would result in more severe disease due to the same site of infection being involved.
While influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory viruses and have other similarities, there are key differences.
Common symptoms of BOTH influenza and COVID-19:
Muscle or body aches
Stuffy, runny nose
Vomiting and diarrhea
Symptom more common in COVID-19: Loss of taste or smell
Influenza symptoms show up 1-4 days after being exposed to a sick person. COVID-19 typically appears 1-14 days after being exposed. If a person has COVID-19, it can take them longer to develop symptoms or test positive than if they had the flu.
COVID-19 and the flu can both spread from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with each other. Both are mainly spread by droplets when people with the illness cough, sneeze, or talk. COVID-19 has been found to be more contagious among certain populations and age groups than the flu and the virus that causes COVID-19 can quickly and easily spread to a lot of people and result in continuous spreading among people as time progresses.
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Vaccine developers and researchers and manufacturers are working on the development of a vaccine. There are multiple FDA-licensed influenza vaccines produced each year to protect against the 3 0r 4 flu viruses that experts anticipate will circulate that year. Get your flu shot today!
For more similarities and differences between the flu and COVID-19, visit the CDC website.