Flu (Influenza) Vaccination Information

Guidance for Parents About Winter Viruses

As Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), the flu, and COVID-19 continue to impact Californians earlier than usual this year, state Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan urges everyone across the state to protect themselves and their families against many circulating viruses.

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  • Be sure to wear clothing that allows vaccination to your upper arm.

  • The vaccine is appropriate for adults and children aged 6 months and up.

  • Pregnant women should contact their doctor regarding vaccination questions or concerns.

About Influenza

Influenza, or "the flu," is a leading cause of illness in the United States and can lead to serious medical conditions, hospitalization, or even death. The flu is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu seasons are unpredictable. They can begin early in the fall and last late into the spring. Influenza is extremely contagious and spreads very easily. The best way to protect oneself from the flu is by getting an annual flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

  • Steps to Help Prevent Influenza, Colds, and Other Contagious Illnesses Include:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Stay home when you are ill and try to limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • What To Do If You Get Sick
  • If you get sick, there are some simple things you should know so you can take care of yourself:
  • Make sure you get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids.
  • Stay away from others as much as possible so you don't spread the flu. You should stay home from school or work until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours.

If you have special conditions, for example, diabetes, asthma, emphysema, or heart disease, contact your doctor to be safe.

Key facts about Seasonal Flu (CDC website)

Caring for someone with the Flu (CDC website)

Know When To Seek Help

Some people are more likely to get flu complications - for example, young children, people 65 and older, people with asthma, diabetes, or women who are pregnant - and they should talk to a healthcare provider about whether they need to be examined if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms. Also, healthy people can develop severe illness from the flu, so anyone concerned about their illness should consult a healthcare provider.