Best Time to Get a Flu Shot: Now!
The San Francisco Department of Public Health urges that everyone age 6 months and older should get their yearly flu vaccine for the winter flu season. If you haven’t had one yet, it’s not too late! Flu disease is still circulating throughout the USA and is expected to last into April, 2019.
The flu vaccine protects everyone’s health — it prevents individuals from getting sick, limits the spread of flu from person to person, and reduces the chance of hospitalization. For more information on influenza including information for providers, visit our influenza home page.
The flu season goes from November through April. Flu vaccines are widely available at doctors’ offices, clinics, and pharmacies. To find a flu vaccine near you, visit the Vaccine Finder. For a list of SF locations that offer free or low-cost flu vaccinations, visit our where-to-get-immunized page.
Influenza (flu) attacks the lungs, nose, and throat. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue. Young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with chronic disease or weak immune systems are at higher risk of having a severe case of flu that needs hospitalization.
Meningococcal Vaccination for Gay and Bisexual Men
Outbreaks of meningitis have occurred among gay men in some US cities. Immunization can prevent brain, lung, and blood infection due to meningococcal bacteria (Neisseria meningitidis).
The best place to be vaccinated is at your doctor’s office. If you do not have a medical provider, find out where you can go for drop-in vaccination services in San Francisco.
In addition to routine national recommendations for meningococcal vaccination, the San Francisco Department of Public Health recommends that the following groups of people get immunized with the 4-strain meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY):
- Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men
- Trans men and women who have sex with men
- Female sex partners of men who have sex with men
Pregnant? Get Vaccinated to Protect Your Baby from Pertussis
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is an easily spread infectious disease. It can cause coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. Young babies can get very sick, very fast if they get pertussis. Vaccination is the best way to prevent pertussis. The pertussis vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap.
- Pregnant women need a Tdap shot during their third trimester of pregnancy (27 – 36 weeks), even if they were vaccinated before pregnancy.
- When the mother gets a Tdap vaccine during pregnancy, it gives the baby immunity (protection) from whooping cough until the baby can get its own shots .
- Women need a Tdap shot each time they are pregnant.
In addition to the pregnancy Tdap dose, babies, adolescents, and adults are all recommended to get pertussis vaccine. Protection from vaccination decreases over time. Talk to your doctor to make sure you and your family are up-to-date on your vaccines. For more information, visit our Pertussis page.