County health officials: Get flu shots early

Vaccinations are not fully effective for two weeks, health officials say

With flu season beginning, San Mateo County health officials urge everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated soon.

Because the flu is unpredictable, and the vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective, early vaccination is important to help prevent a disease that hospitalizes 200,000 Americans every year, according to the San Mateo County Health System.

"The flu vaccine is safe and effective and is the most important tool against the spread of influenza in San Mateo County," said county health officer Dr. Scott Morrow.

Vaccinations must be renewed every year because strains of influenza change over time. Flu shots are especially important for pregnant women, children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes, Dr. Morrow said.

In addition to getting the vaccine, health officials advise:

● Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough into your elbow.

● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

● Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

● When sick, stay home until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

Flu shots are available from medical providers, pharmacies, retail stores, and some employers. The San Mateo County Health System hosts free walk-in clinics, with no appointment necessary. has clinic locations and dates. lists vaccination locations. has more information.


Sign up for the Almanac's Express to get daily news updates. Follow the Almanac on Facebook and Twitter.


There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Hom Korean Kitchen expands to Redwood City
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 1,981 views

Couples: Do These for 80% Chance of Divorce
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,636 views

Tips for the Best Latkes
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,379 views


The holidays are here!

From live music to a visit with Santa, here's a look at some local holiday activities to help you get into the spirit of the season.