Flu Care in San Diego
Learn how to get a flu vaccine, view frequently asked questions and more.
It's more important than ever for you and your loved ones to get a flu vaccine. We'll help you navigate this year's flu season with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. From where to get a flu shot, to finding a doctor to helping you stay healthy, we'll keep you updated on the latest recommendations and guidelines.
We'll be adding more information and resources throughout the flu season.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
Getting your flu vaccine is more important than ever. Learn how you can get vaccinated:
- Flu vaccines for Sharp Rees-Stealy patients
- Flu vaccines for Sharp Community Medical Group patients
- Sharp Coronado Community Pharmacy — Flu vaccines, including the high-dose flu shot for those 65 and older, are available Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm.
- MinuteClinics located in CVS stores
- Call 211 or visit the County of San Diego flu website
Frequently asked questions about the flu.
Is the flu vaccine effective?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during seasons when the flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses, the flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 to 60 percent. If you are exposed to a strain in the vaccine you receive, the infection will be less severe or even negligible.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
People ages 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine as directed by their health care providers. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about the vaccine.
According to the CDC, the flu vaccine is especially important for people at higher risk of having serious complications from the virus, including:
- People with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and lung disease
- Pregnant people
- People age 65 and older
- People who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
How does the flu vaccine work?
The flu vaccine causes antibodies to develop in the body. These antibodies provide protection against the influenza virus infection.
It generally takes two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in your body. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu, which is why we recommend vaccination as early as possible.
Why do I need to get vaccinated every year?
Flu viruses change from year to year, which means you can get the flu more than once in your lifetime. A vaccine that provides protection from one strain of the virus may not protect you against a new strain of the virus the following year.
Are there alternatives to the flu shot?
In addition to the standard flu shot, we offer the nasal spray vaccine as an option for healthy, non-pregnant, non-immunocompromised patients between ages 2 and 49. There is also a vaccine specially designed for adults 65 and older. You may request these at your flu vaccination appointment if available.
Can I get the flu vaccine when I'm sick?
You should not get the flu vaccine if you are experiencing a moderate to severe illness with a fever. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions.
What are some symptoms of the flu?
It's sometimes tricky to tell whether you have a cold or flu. One clue: The flu comes on hard and fast. And most often, colds don't include fever.
Common flu symptoms:
- Body aches
- Fever (greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Muscle pain
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
If you have the flu, your best remedy is to drink plenty of fluids, rest at home and avoid contact with others for at least 24 hours after you are fever-free. But if your symptoms worsen, call your doctor right away.
If you or a loved one is experiencing flu-like symptoms and falls into any of the following categories, call your doctor immediately.
- Children ages six months to four years
- Pregnant women
- Blood or metabolic disorders (including diabetes)
- Heart, liver, kidney or lung conditions
- Suppressed immune systems
Will having the flu make me more susceptible to COVID-19?
While there is no clinical evidence so far to suggest that having the flu increases your susceptibility of getting COVID-19, it's possible to have both at the same time. The risk of having more severe symptoms and complications would then be higher or last for longer.
Can I get the flu vaccine with the COVID-19 vaccine?
To receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, it must be at least two months since your primary vaccination was completed or two months since you received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not yet received your annual flu vaccine, both the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine booster can be administered at the same time, though experts recommend receiving the shots in different arms.
However, adults due for a mammogram should plan to leave 4 to 6 weeks between COVID and flu vaccination and the screening. Vaccines can cause enlarged lymph nodes, which is also a symptom of breast cancer, and could lead to an incorrect mammogram reading.
Read flu news.
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