Santa Barbara- S County

Flu Shots Encouraged as Peak Flu Season Nears

Public health managers say vaccination needed for people with chronic illness.

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Flu season is far from over and so is the need to get vaccinated.   

That's the word from public health managers across the state and here on the Central Coast.

So far this flu season about 100 people in California have died from flu complications and dozens of other deaths are being investigated.

Central Coast public health managers are urging everyone to get vaccinated with the peak of flu season still ahead of us.

When flu season comes around, Gayle Cullins doesn't mess around with getting her flu shot.

"Since the last seven years I'm a survivor from lung cancer", Cullins says, "so that's really important for me to get the flu shot for that reason."

Cullins, a retired nurse, thinks the unusually warm weather may be giving flu shot holdouts a false sense of security.

"It's almost like summer here", Cullins says outide a drug store in Santa Maria, " it is important and people think if its not winter you can't get the flu."

If you think its too late for you to get your flu shot, public health managers  want to remind you flu season is far from over.

"You know our flu season tends to peak between February and March", says Santa Barbara County Public Health Immunization Program manager Adriana Almaguer, "so we anticipate that we'll be seeing more flu coming our way."

Two people have died from flu-related complications in Santa Barbara County so far this flu season including a woman in her 20's who did not have a flu shot.

"There's plenty of vaccine still available through your pharmacies or your doctor's offices", Almaguer says, "we do encourage everyone to get vaccinated and especially those who have chronic medical conditions that put them at a higher risk for having complications with the flu."

Chronic health problems susceptible to the flu include asthma, COPD, diabetes and heart disease.

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