Flu Season 2021-22
(Updated November 2021)
What is the Flu?
Influenza (the Flu) is a serious disease spread by coughs and sneezes and caused by influenza A or B viruses, mainly during the winter season. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Signs and symptoms include fever, cough, headache, muscle aches, and weakness. A sore throat, and runny nose can also be present. The best way to prevent influenza is by getting a flu vaccination each year.
How is the Flu Spread?
The flu virus spreads through the tiny wet droplets inadvertently produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. A person can get the flu by breathing in these wet drops, or by touching items and surfaces covered with these drops and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.
People who have the flu may spread it to others about 1 day before getting sick to 5-7 days after, and are most contagious during the first three days of feeling sick. Children and people with weak immune systems can spread the flu virus for a longer period of time.
This means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Almost half of the people with the flu virus do not know that they have the flu and continue with their daily activities.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family?
Get a vaccine:
The Alameda County Public Health Department, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.
Influenza immunization is critical this season! Getting flu vaccine:
- reduces illness and transmission in our community
- reduces clinic visits and hospitalization
- prevents illnesses that mimic COVID-19
The 2021-22 influenza season is expected to coincide with continued circulation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. We, therefore, want to avoid the possibility of a “twindemic” -- a severe flu season coinciding with a surge in COVID-19 cases. A huge concern is the risk that our medical system may be overloaded trying to care for both COVID-19 and flu patients at once. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s very important for everyone 6 months of age and older to get their flu shot this year.
All formulations are available this year: nasal sprayers, prefilled syringes, multi dose vials (across the different brands). The nasal spray vaccine is available during the 2021-22 influenza season but may be harder to find because of a limited supply. The best place to receive a flu vaccine is at your doctor’s office, but there are also other options, like pharmacies, clinics or sites on this flu locator website.
Here is a summary of the 2021-22 influenza recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Shoo the Flu
Shoo the Flu is a community-based initiative to prevent seasonal influenza in Alameda County. We hope that your school community is safe and well during these unprecedented times. Regretfully, we are unable to hold traditional Shoo the Flu clinics at schools this fall. Containing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Alameda County, however, remains a high priority for the duration of the pandemic. In place of holding Shoo the Flu clinics at schools, the Alameda County Public Health Department will be working on conducting community located Say Boo to the Flu.
Say Boo to the Flu involve the administration of vaccines (influenza and COVID-19) to a large number of people over a relatively short period of time, allowing our providers to rapidly and efficiently immunize communities. Say Boo to the Flu in communities will help protect families as well as our health care system from the ill effects of flu disease. All clinics will be socially distanced and paperless. We hope to see you at one of our clinics, if your school is interested in partnering with us in hosting Say Boo to the Flu, please contact us at:
Alameda County Immunization Program
Phone Number (510) 267- 3230