Flu shot season is here - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Flu shot season is here

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - It's time to get a flu shot. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency kicked off its annual influenza vaccination campaign Friday in conjunction with area healthcare organizations.

The agency says 36,000 people nationwide die every year from the flu, and getting a shot in advance is the best prevention.

Other suggested precautions include thorough and frequent hand washing, or use of hand sanitizers; staying away from sick people; avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth; and regularly cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

"The best protection against the flu is to get vaccinated," said county Supervisor Greg Cox. "I already received my shot and I hope every eligible county resident will get their shot too."

The county recommends that everyone 6 months old and up get a flu shot. It is especially important for people in higher-risk categories, such as children under 5 years old, adults over 65, pregnant women and those with long-term conditions like asthma, diabetes, blood disorders and lung disease.

Influenza caused the deaths of 58 people in San Diego County in 2009, at the height of the H1N1 pandemic, more than twice as many as any other recent year, the HHSA reported. The second-worst year for fatalities was 2010, with 24 deaths.

The San Diego Black Nurses Association administered hundreds of free flu shots to those who attended the county's kickoff event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center in the Skyline area.

The county of San Diego's immunization program has a website with more information, at sdiz.org.

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