The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) noted growing exposures to respiratory viruses, including the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19. CDPH recommends all individuals remain up to date on vaccines to prevent serious illness and to limit the spread of viruses. Basic prevention measures can be taken before and after vaccination.
Prevention: Basic steps that can prevent respiratory illnesses:
- Staying away from other people when you do not feel well.
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Covering your nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing.
- Consider wearing a mask, particularly indoors around other people.
- If you feel sick, get tested and get appropriate medical treatment.
- Getting vaccinated against illnesses for which vaccines are available.
Eligibility for vaccinations:
- Flu: Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine annually.
- COVID-19: Everyone 6 months and older should get the newly updated COVID-19 vaccine. This is not a booster shot, but a new vaccine developed for the latest COVID-19 variants. COVID-19 information is available in 14 languages, here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/COVID19MultilingualDocuments.aspx
- RSV: Adults 60 years of age and older should talk to their health care provider about getting an RSV vaccine as soon as it is available in their community. It also is recommended that pregnant persons between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy receive the vaccine between September and January. Additional immunization options are available to protect all infants 8 months and younger and high-risk children between 8 – 19 months.
For all immunizations, CDPH encourages individuals to check with their health care provider to determine which are available for them and their families.
Scheduling a vaccination:
The https://myturn.ca.gov/ website remains available for scheduling flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccinations. All three of these vaccines, or any combination of them, can be administered at the same visit.
Costs of vaccination:
COVID-19 and flu vaccines continue to be free for most people through their health insurance plans, including Medi-Cal and regular healthcare providers.
The federal Bridge Access Program will provide COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured and underinsured adults through December 2024.
The federal Vaccines For Children (VFC) program provides vaccines at no cost to people age 18 and younger who might not be vaccinated because of an inability to pay.