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Health experts urge people to get flu shots as season approaches

Posted at 10:35 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 01:49:57-04

November 1st, 2018 marks 100 years since the deadly Spanish Influenza broke out and is still considered one of the deadliest disease outbreaks recorded in history.

Last winter, the influenza killed 80,000 people across the nation, recording the disease’s highest death toll in at least four decades.

Marlin Peterson will be getting his 15th flu shot later this month and said after skipping the vaccine one year, he’ll never skip it again.

“If I do get sick even with a cold it’s much milder when I’ve had had a flu shot,” said Marlin Peterson, resident of Arroyo Grande.

Public health experts said it is hard to determine whether a flu vaccine will be effective or not, but thinks doctors are working hard to get it right.

“I would think we would do a bit better since last year was not great in terms of effectiveness,” said Rick Rosen, San Luis Obispo Public Health officer. “It’s important to remember that when the vaccine is not effective that it helps with severity of illness.”

Rosen told KSBY there have already been a few reports of flu cases in the month of September.

The flu vaccine varies from year to year, depending on the types of strains that circulated in the Southern Hemisphere the previous year.

This year there are two vaccines: one protects against four strains, the other against three.

A San Luis Obispo mother immunizes her kids for everything, but decided to fight the flu on her own terms.

“There are so just so many that I feel like I will take my chances and try and be healthy otherwise,” said Erika McGuire, resident of San Luis Obispo.

Instead, McGuire swears by these mom tips; “Do hand sanitizer in the car, you wash your hands as soon as you get home. ”

People as young as three years old can start getting flu vaccines as early as October 1, 2018.

Health experts say it is especially important for people with other illnesses or anyone over the age of 65 to get vaccinated.

The public health department will be giving free flu shots at its clinics Sunday, October 21st from 9 a.m. to noon.

They are taking place at:

Five Cities Authority, Station One
140 Traffic Way, Arroyo Grande

Colony Park Community Center
5599 Traffic Way, Atascadero

For more details, call 805-781-5500 or click here.