Flu season kicks off with free vaccination clinic - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Flu season kicks off with free vaccination clinic

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - More than 200 people received immunizations against influenza Friday as the county of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency kicked off its annual vaccination drive.

The HHSA and Black Nurses Association provided free flu shots to adults 18 years or older at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center on Skyline Drive.

In the most recent flu season, 70 people died from influenza-related causes in San Diego County, the most since the HHSA began tracking the fatalities, according to the county. That's five more than the year before.

County health officials say getting vaccinated is the single most important action people can take to protect themselves from the flu. The vaccine is already available at doctors' offices and retail pharmacies.

Since it takes two weeks for the immunity to take effect, county health officials suggest that people get shots sooner rather than later.

People with no medical insurance can get a flu shot at a county public health center.

The flu vaccine is safe and effective, according to the agency. About 151 to 159 million doses of flu vaccine are projected to be available nationwide this season.

Other precautions people should take include thorough and frequent hand washing; using hand sanitizers; staying home when ill; avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth; and routinely cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

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