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Flu Shots and Where To Get Them

Man Getting Flu Shot
Man Getting Flu Shot (credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

The Mayo Clinic reports that the flu season usually starts between late Fall and early Winter. That makes now an optimal time to protect yourself and your family against the flu by getting your annual flu shot.

Dr. Peter Katona, clinical professor of medicine, division of infectious diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA says that" The reason you get a flu shot isn't solely to prevent yourself from getting sick but also to help prevent the flu from being spread to other people."
According to Dr. Katona many people don't take the flu as seriously as they should. Each year approximately twenty to thirty thousand people die as a result of the flu and or its complications. "You should take it very seriously."

The flu, also known as influenza is a viral infection that can affect people in a range of ways. For some it can be nothing more than a period of discomfort while for others it can have lethal consequences. This is why the Center for Disease Control says that the most important step in protecting yourself and your family is to obtain a yearly flu shot.

Who Is At Risk

While anyone can contract the flu there are people who are at higher risk. As a result the flu can create serious issues for them that can potentially be life threatening.

• Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
• Adults 65 years of age and older
• Pregnant women
• Also, last flu season, American Indians and Alaskan Natives seemed to be at higher risk of flu complications
• People who have medical conditions including asthma, heart disease, and more
• People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
• People who are morbidly obese (Body Mass Index, or BMI, of 40 or greater)

About the Vaccine

There are two different types of vaccines being administered. One is the traditional "flu shot" and the other is a nasal spray. This vaccine provides protection against the main flu strains that doctors anticipate will cause the most illness during the season.

There are certain risks involved in getting the vaccine and possible mild side effects. You should NOT get the shot if you've had a bad reaction to the vaccine in the past, are allergic to eggs, or have a fever. Side effects include achiness, soreness of the injection spot, and fever, but the flu shot cannot give you the flu.

Where to Get Vaccinated

Los Angeles and surrounding counties have flu vaccine offered for free at one-day clinics and at county public health centers while available. Alternately, many grocery store and pharmacy chains have the vaccine available without an appointment.

Clinics and Public Health Agencies

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is offering flu vaccines at no charge to people who don't have health insurance or whose healthcare provider does not offer flu vaccines.

LA County Public Health Centers

Orange County Health Care Agency Immunization Clinic

1725 W. 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92706
More Info
Tuesday: 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Hurtt Family Health Clinic

One Hope Drive
Tustin, CA 92782
(714) 247-0300
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Cost: $20.00

Riverside County Family Care Center Clinics

(888) 246-1915
More Info
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
All flu shots are free. No appointment necessary.

San Bernardino County

(800) 722-4777
More Info

Retail Locations

Ralphs Pharmacy

More Info
Use the pharmacy option in the store locator to find a Ralph's pharmacy near you.
No appointment necessary.


More Info
You may walk in anytime or schedule an appointment online
Seasonal flu shot charge: $31.99
Insurance accepted? Yes

Rite Aid Pharmacy

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Seasonal flu shot charge: $27.99
Speak with the pharmacist or pharmacy staff for details.

Target Pharmacy

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Seasonal flu shot charge: $25.00 (also offered to children)
Insurance accepted? Yes

Albertsons-Savon Pharmacy

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Seasonal flu shot & spray charge: $28.99
Insurance accepted? Yes
Walk-ins welcome! Contact pharmacy for hours of operation or to schedule an appointment.


More Info
Monday - Sunday: Open 24 Hours
Seasonal flu shot charge: $29.99 (also offered to children 9 years and older)
Insurance accepted? Yes

More Information

Mayo Clinic
Center For Disease Control and Prevention

Joshua Wilner is a writer and father of two in Los Angeles.
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