It’s time for flu shot season! Photo credit:

The county of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency will kick off its annual influenza vaccination drive with free flu shots Friday.

The HHSA and Black Nurses Association will offer 500 free flu shots to adults 18 years or older at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center on Skyline Drive.

Flu season can be vexing for those who catch it, but it also can be fatal for vulnerable populations. In the most recent “flu season,” 70 people died from flu-related causes in San Diego County, according to the HHSA. That’s five more than the year before.

County health officials say getting vaccinated is the single most important action people can take to protect themselves from the flu. The vaccine already is available at doctors’ offices and retail pharmacies.

People with no medical insurance can get a flu shot at a county public health center.

The flu vaccine is safe and effective, according to the agency. About 151 to 159 million doses of flu vaccine are projected to be available nationwide this season. Flu season, according to the CDC, usually begins in October and peaks in the winter.

Other precautions people should take include washing their hands thoroughly and often; using hand sanitizers; staying home when ill; avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth, and routinely cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

– City News Service

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