Influenza (Flu)

Every person aged 6 months and older needs the flu vaccine, every year. This is especially true this year, with COVID also circulating widely in Santa Clara County. 

The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department is monitoring a multi-state outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in dairy cows in the United States. For more information, visit the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department's Current H5N1 Bird Flu Situation in Dairy Cows webpage.

Where to get a flu shot

Flu shots in your neighborhood

65 Years and older and looking for a flu shot?

  • Flu shots for people 65 years and older are available at pharmacies and from your regular doctor. Find a location near you to get the shot or talk with your doctor.  

Prevent the flu with the vaccine

The flu shot is a safe, effective way to reduce your chance of ending up in the hospital with severe flu. Each winter, people sick with flu crowd hospitals and urgent care clinics.

You need a flu shot every year

The flu vaccine offers many months of protection but does not last forever. Also, the strains of influenza in the community change over time. It is important to get the new vaccine every year.

How does the flu vaccine benefit me?

  • Best way to avoid getting the flu.
  • Reduces missed work and school due to the flu.
  • Prevents flu-related hospitalizations.
  • Protects those you care for, work with, and live with.
  • This year, people with flu symptoms will likely have to get a COVID test and stay home from work and isolate away from their families while awaiting results. Symptoms of the flu can be similar to early symptoms of COVID-19.

Learn more about flu vaccines.

More about flu

Flu is a different disease than COVID​

Influenza, also called flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.​ It is not the same as the common cold, which is caused by different viruses. It is not COVID-19, which is also caused by a different virus.

To be fully protected, you and your family members will need to get vaccinations for both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu.

Vaccinations for COVID-19 and for the flu can be given to you on the same day.  This applies to other vaccines, as well. Learn more about the COVID vaccine.

Flu symptoms can be similar to those of the common cold but are usually more severe. Learn more about the difference between colds and flu.

Learn more about the difference between COVID-19 and flu.​

Severe flu Is dangerous

Flu can cause severe illness in some cases. Flu shots protect you and your family and reduce the chance that you will go to the hospital with severe flu.

Anyone can get the flu, even healthy people. Serious problems from the flu can happen at any age.​

Common symptoms of flu

  • ​Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue (feeling tired)

Some people are more likely to get very sick from the flu

  • ​People over age 65
  • Young children
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease

How to prevent the flu

You can take the following steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu:

  • Get a flu vaccine
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people
  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school
  • If you are sick, monitor your symptoms and contact your medical provider if your symptoms are getting worse
  • If you are seriously ill and at risk for complications from the flu, contact your medical provider because you may need additional treatment or hospital care

Flu data for Santa Clara County

The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department monitors influenza activity throughout the year.

Flu reports

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