With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic now overlapping flu season, bi-county officials are urging residents to get a flu shot as soon as possible. 

Bi-County Public Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said although it is still too early to assess how flu activities will look this season, things usually start to rev up in November.

“Therefore, it is crucial that individuals get their flu shot as soon as possible,” said Luu. “It takes your body two weeks to develop the appropriate antibodies (or) ‘soldiers’ to fight the specific flu strains for this specific flu season.”

Both counties will be hosting free flu shot clinics through the end of October at several locations in Yuba City, Marysville, Wheatland and Oregon House. Those interested in getting a flu shot through the clinics can go online to make an appointment and time slots are anticipated to fill up quickly. A unique email address is required for each person upon scheduling. 

To schedule a flu shot in Yuba County, visit cutt.ly/Yuba_Flu_Shots. 

Residents of Sutter county can schedule their appointment at cutt.ly/Sutter_Flu_Shots. 

Immunizations will also be available for the whole family. 

Facial coverings and social distancing will be required while visiting a clinic. 

Most retail pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, and Raley’s offer flu shots as well, said Luu, and are free with most insurance plans. 

According to Luu, the seasonal flu can overwhelm and things will be even more challenging this year as they try to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 410,000 – 740,000 Americans were hospitalized from the flu during last year’s flu season. 

“Science shows us that you can be sick with COVID-19 and the seasonal flu at the same time, which could certainly lead to more severe symptoms, and a higher possibility of hospitalization or death—especially for the more vulnerable,” said Lyuu. “When you and your family get your flu shots, you’re also protecting those around you that you may have infected had you not gotten the vaccine.”

Luu said because symptoms for the flu and COVID-19 are so similar, anyone experiencing symptoms should get tested for COVID-19 – no matter how mild.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by four on Wednesday, bringing the area’s total to 3,028 cases.

Eight people were hospitalized as of Wednesday evening, while nine recovered from the virus. Twenty-two local residents have died due to COVID-19 to date.

– Lynzie Lowe

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