Flu season is here, and free vaccinations are being offered on Saturday at the West Hollywood Library.
The vaccinations will be offered from 1 to 5 p.m. and are recommended for everyone six months of age and older. Flu vaccinations are especially important for those from six months to 18 years of age, those aged 50 and older, women who are pregnant or have recently given birth, anyone who is morbidly obese and healthcare providers. Those living in a nursing home or long-term care facility or with a weakened immune system or a chronic medical condition such as diabetes or heart or lung disease also should get a vaccination.
Also available at the library, which is located at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica, will be Hepatitis A vaccines. Priority for those vaccinations will be given to the homeless, active drug users, those who have been recently jailed or released on parole and those who provide services to the homeless.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, up to 20% of Americans become ill with the flu (also known as influenza) each year, leading to thousands of deaths. Last year’s flu season was the worst in nearly a decade, with 278 reported flu deaths in LA County alone. Because flu is highly contagious, vaccination not only protects the person who gets the shot, but also reduces the risk for his or her family, co-workers and other close contacts.