LANCASTER – Kaiser Permanente is offering free flu vaccinations for its members in the Antelope Valley this Saturday, Sept. 21.
Members can receive free influenza vaccinations at Kaiser’s Lancaster Medical Offices, located at 43112 15th Street West, open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Kaiser Permanente is reminding its members and the general public that the influenza vaccination is the most effective prevention against contracting the disease that plagues millions of people each year.
“A common misconception is that a flu shot will make you sick,” said Dr. Margaret M. Khoury, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “That’s simply not true. You cannot contract the flu from getting a flu shot. However, by not getting vaccinated, you put yourself and your loved ones at a greater risk of getting the flu, which causes serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths every year. Most flu-related illnesses and deaths could be prevented simply by getting vaccinated.”
Every year, millions of people get the flu, and hundreds of thousands of individuals end up in the emergency room or hospitalized. Flu vaccinations are especially important for the elderly, pregnant women, babies who are six months and older, along with those with chronic health conditions, according to Kaiser Permanente.
Harmful flu myths and a lack of awareness have caused significant health-related inequities in flu vaccination rates and flu-related complications, particularly in the African American and Latino communities, studies show. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans and Latinos are disparate populations that experience disproportionately higher rates of chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Subsequently, it’s these chronic health conditions that place many African Americans and Latinos at a higher risk of severe flu complications.
“It’s important to understand the benefits of flu immunizations, which is why we strongly encourage getting your flu shot, and to get it by the end of October for maximum protection,” Dr. Khoury stressed. “Getting vaccinated will protect your health, as well as reduce missed school and work days.”
Kaiser Permanente members are encouraged to visit kp.org/flu or call 866-706-6358 for more information about Kaiser Permanente flu locations.
[Information via news release from Kaiser Permanente.]