Riverside County health officials are urging the public to get vaccinated against influenza by taking part in a free flu shot clinic that is part of a public health exercise.
The flu shot clinic is planned from 9 a.m. until noon on Oct. 8 at the Indio Senior Center, 45-700 Aladdin St., Indio.
“If a public health emergency strikes, we need to be ready, and vaccinations are one of the ways we can stop a future disaster in its tracks,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer. “Drills like this help us test our system, and you get a free flu shot as part of it.”
The drill is aimed at testing the readiness of health officials in the event of a pandemic. Nothing is required from people who wish to participate. Shots will be given out as they last.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months.
Local health officials have said they are concerned this year’s flu season could be difficult and reported the first Riverside County flu-related death of the season (2019-2020) last month. A 4-year-old child from Perris who recently died tested positive for influenza. The boy had underlying health issues and passed away at a medical facility outside of the county.
Riverside County officials reported nine flu-related deaths in 2018-2019 and 23 flu-related deaths in 2017-2018.
While vaccination is key to avoiding influenza, additional prevention tips include staying home when ill, washing hands often and sneezing and coughing into your elbow and not your hand.
For more information about the flu clinic, call Riverside University Health System — Public Health at 951-358-7125 or visit www.rivcoimm.org.