EL CENTRO — The Imperial County Public Health Department has scheduled drive-through clinics to administer Influenza vaccines before the flu peak season in Imperial.
The influenza vaccine clinics — scheduled for two consecutive Saturdays, October 31 and November 7, at the Imperial Valley Fairgrounds — will be provided at no cost to Imperial County residents.
“Everyone 6 months of age or older should get a flu shot every season,” according to the ICPHD website.
The County asks individuals to wear a short-sleeved shirt, wear a face covering or mask, and arrive in an automobile. Drivers will be given directions to the designated clinic area.
“Influenza, or commonly called flu, is a contagious respiratory illness characterized by symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, headache, and muscle ache,” said Steven Solis, public health nurse manager at the health department.
According to Solis, the flu season peaks between December and February in Imperial Valley. To be effective, individuals can get their vaccination prior to the flu season. This will allow the individual’s body to develop antibodies to fight against the flu virus.
“Vaccination is the best weapon against flu-related hospitalizations and deaths,” according to Solis. But some individuals don’t like vaccinations because they claim to get sick right after. However, Solis said these individuals may already have been infected or sick before receiving their vaccine shots.
Individuals who receive a vaccine may still get sick, but when they do — it would only last three or four days. But for those who did not get vaccinated, their illness may last between seven and 10 days.
“We encourage individuals to get their flu vaccine from their primary physicians or clinics. No matter where they get it, as long as they get it,” Solis said.
For this flu season, the Imperial County Public Health Department has prepared 2,000 vaccines. In 2019, the County administered 3,086 doses at the County’s clinic in El Centro. The following season, the County’s vaccination increased to 4,200 doses.
An individual can reduce getting infected with the influenza virus by washing hands frequently; by avoiding touching the nose, eyes and mouth; and by covering the mouth and nose with a clean tissue when coughing or sneezing, according to the Imperial County Public Health Department.