Now Is the Right Time To Get a Flu Shot

October 6, 2021

Britt Ehrhardt/Marianna Moles
Public Health Department
[email protected]

Free Flu Shots Available at County of Santa Clara Sites Across the Area

News Release in Spanish

  • Flu shots are the best protection against the flu. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot each year.
  • You can get both a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine in the same visit. The shots are just as effective when you get both at the same time.
  • Flu shots are especially important while communities continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic. Flu shots reduce hospital visits and emergency room crowding due to flu, and reduce the chance that you will have to miss work or school due to flu.

Santa Clara County, CA. – The County of Santa Clara will provide flu shots at more than a dozen locations starting this week and continuing through the fall. See schedules. Some locations will offer flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine during the same visit. Getting both shots at the same time does not change the effectiveness of the vaccines, and it does not change the minor side effects that some people experience after vaccination, such as fatigue or sore arm. Health officials recommend that everyone six months and older get a flu shot each year. 

“This year, it is more important than ever to get your annual flu shot, in addition to your COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Sara Cody, County of Santa Clara Health Officer and Director of the Public Health Department. “Flu is a serious threat to the health of people in the community. Thankfully, there’s a vaccine, and it is the best protection against coming down with a severe case of the flu.” 

Health officials recommend getting vaccinated now, before flu becomes widespread in the community. It takes two weeks for a vaccinated person to be fully protected against the flu after getting the flu shot. Flu shots are required for those who work in healthcare facilities in Santa Clara County. When many people in the community get flu shots it reduces the number of people needing ambulance transport and emergency room visits due to flu, reserving health care capacity for other emergencies and diseases.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot. Flu shots are especially important for people who might be at risk of coming down with a severe case of the flu, such as older people, very young children, pregnant women, or those with chronic diseases. Family members and roommates who live with someone at high risk of a severe case of the flu can help protect those individuals by getting vaccinated against the flu, every year.

Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses. Symptoms of the flu can be similar to early symptoms of COVID-19. However, flu is caused by influenza viruses, which are different than the virus that causes COVID-19. Flu and COVID-19 each require different vaccines and different tests to diagnose each disease. People with flu symptoms may have to get a COVID-19 test and stay home from work or school while waiting for results.

For those with insurance, a flu shot is available at no cost from their regular doctor or most pharmacies. For those without health insurance, or anyone who finds it more convenient, community clinics and the County of Santa Clara offer many opportunities to get a free flu shot. Health insurance is not required, and everyone is welcome regardless of immigration status.

Though a flu shot is the best protection, the following actions also help minimize transmission:

  • Stay home at first sign of illness. Keep children home if they have any symptoms.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.

For more information about flu and where to get a flu shot, visit

Upcoming Flu Vaccination Clinics
No appointment needed.

Every Friday from 3 - 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
County of Santa Clara Public Health Story Road Hub
1775 Story Road #120, San Jose, CA 95116 
Valley Health Center locations across the County offer flu shots on weekdays and certain Saturdays. See full schedule

October 8, 2021
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Valley Health Center Sunnyvale Flu Fair, hosted by Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
660 S Fair Oaks Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94086

October 12, 2021
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Consulate General of México in San Jose Binational Health Week Kick Off Event
Consulate General of México in San Jose, 302 Enzo Dr #200, San Jose, CA 95138

October 16, 2021
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Day on the Bay
Alviso Marina County Park, 1195 Hope St, Alviso, CA 95002


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