William Foley Director, Ventura County HCA

The Ventura County Public Health (VCPH) Department is promoting the importance of receiving a flu shot, as flu season is now upon us, and additionally, we are still working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

While seasonal influenza (flu) viruses are detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Most often, flu activity peaks between December and February, although it can last as late as May. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccination in September or October, however, receiving a vaccination anytime during the flu season can help protect you.

This year it is particularly important to receive a flu vaccination. COVID-19 infection causes more severe illness, and can result in death, for those with co-morbidities. It is highly likely that acquiring a COVID-19 infection while simultaneously suffering from an influenza infection will worsen the outcome of being infected with either one alone.

Ventura County Public Health recently held their first no-cost flu vaccination clinic of the season and had a record turnout. The flu clinic was held at the Oxnard College Parking Lot on September 30, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and staffed by VCPH personnel from the Immunization Program, Public Health Clinics, Communicable Disease Department, Emergency Medical Services and the Ventura County Medical Reserve Corps volunteers.

Over 700 Ventura County residents were vaccinated at the event which is the largest one-day flu vaccination clinic hosted by the Ventura County Public Health Department.

Ventura County Public Health will be holding additional flu clinics. For future dates and locations, visit www.vchca.org/ph or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. To access a list of County Clinics providing flu shots (note-some require appointments) visit www.vchca.org. Again, the best way to prevent the flu is to get your flu shot. Ventura County Public Health and the Health Care Agency team thank you for doing your part to help reduce the impact of flu season, and thus the potential burden on our healthcare system during this pandemic.