The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reminds the community that flu vaccination along with COVID-19 vaccination is critical in reducing the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on the community.
The updated, more protective flu vaccines and COVID-19 boosters are available broadly for those eligible. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommend that all people six months of age and older receive a flu vaccine every year.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says it is critical for everyone ages five and up to receive the updated COVID-19 booster if it has been two months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, regardless of the type of dose received.
Respiratory infections, including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), are on the rise in California, and in Santa Barbara County. Persons with RSV infection typically have fever, cough, wheezing and runny nose.
Infants and young children may be irritable, lethargic, feed poorly and have no fever. Persons may have RSV if they have respiratory symptoms and test negative for COVID-19 or flu. Although no vaccines are available to prevent RSV infections, antiviral treatments can be offered, especially for those at high risk for severe diseases such as infants and older adults.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department suggests connecting with your healthcare provider if you are experiencing symptoms and may be at high risk.
Flu and COVID-19 vaccination reduce the risk of disease, hospitalization and death. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says it is recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time if you are eligible and the timing coincides. Even though both vaccines can be given at the same visit, people should follow the recommended schedule for either vaccine.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination to develop antibodies that offer protection.
If you don't have a doctor to go to regularly, you can locate flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine providers in Santa Barbara County online.
For more information about local COVID-19 impacts, flu season reports, and preventing respiratory illness, click here.