Flu season is here. To help you stay healthy, LA County Library is partnering with the LA County Department of Public Health (DPH) for the fifth year in a row to offer free flu shot clinics at 19 community libraries throughout the county through Nov. 14. No appointment or insurance is required.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 20 percent of Americans become ill with the flu (also known as influenza) each year, leading to thousands of deaths. Last year’s flu season was the worst in nearly a decade, with 278 reported flu deaths in LA County alone. Because flu is highly contagious, vaccination not only protects the person who gets the shot, but also reduces the risk for their family, co-workers, and other close contacts. Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, including healthy adults. Pregnant women, children, adults 50 years of age and older, and immune-compromised individuals are especially susceptible. Health officials say the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.
“Our customers depend on us to provide a variety of resources for them and their families,” said LA County Library Director Skye Patrick. “Offering these flu shot clinics at our library locations makes a healthy lifestyle accessible to all of our customers, with the help of the LA County Department of Public Health.”
“Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Last year, we saw a huge increase in the numbers of people who suffered serious illness and death from the flu,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the DPH. “We all need to take steps to keep ourselves and our communities healthy. Given that flu shots remain one of the best protections we have against getting the flu, we are urging everyone 6 months and older to get immunized as soon as possible.”
“Now is the time to get immunized since it takes your body about 2 weeks after immunization to develop the protection needed to reduce your risk for influenza,” said Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “We never know how bad each flu season will be. We do know that the more people are immunized, the better the season will be.”
Due to recent concerns over Hepatitis A outbreak, clinics at libraries will also make Hepatitis A vaccines available to those identified to be at high risk: active drug users, individuals experiencing homelessness, incarcerated individuals or recent parolees, and those who provide services to these groups.
To view the complete list of dates, times and library locations, and for additional information, please visit LACountyLibrary.org/FluShot.
If you have a severe egg allergy or are sick the day of the clinic, check with your doctor before getting vaccinated. Call your regular health care provider to see what other shots you may need. If you don’t have a regular provider, call 2-1-1 (LA County Information Line) or visit publichealth.lacounty.gov for a list of no cost or low-cost vaccine providers.