Flu shot season begins

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

PASADENA (CNS) – Starting Saturday, Kaiser Permanente will offer flu vaccines at clinics across Southern California.

“The flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, even lead to death,” said Dr. Kalvin Yu of Kaiser’s Department of Infectious Diseases. “While it can be serious even in people who are otherwise healthy, it can be especially dangerous for children, pregnant women and older adults. This is why we urge everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available in their area.”

The first case of H1N1 flu this season was reported in August at Kaiser’s West Los Angeles medical center.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized from flu- related complications such as pneumonia. In the 2012-2013 flu season, 161 flu- related pediatric deaths occurred.

This year’s flu shot will protect against the H1N1 flu virus and other flu viruses expected to be making the rounds this fall and winter. A list of clinic locations and times is posted at www.kp.org/flu.

“In addition to getting the flu vaccine, we should also take everyday steps to keep ourselves healthy,” said Gale Ivie, coordinator of Kaiser’s flu campaign.”That includes washing your hands often and avoid touching your face. Also, be sure to cough or sneeze into your elbow, eat healthy, exercise regularly and get plenty of rest.”

Here’s a list of walk-in clinics:

– Diamond Bar Medical Offices, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 1336 Bridgegate Drive;
— Bellflower Medical Offices, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 9400 E. Rosecrans Ave.;
— Palmdale Medical Offices, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 4502 E. Ave. S;
— Normandie North Medical Offices, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 25965 S. Normandie Ave.;
— Carson Medical Offices, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 18600 S. Figueroa St.;
— Playa Vista Medical Offices, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 5620 Mesmer Ave.;
— Lancaster Medical Offices, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 43112 15th St. West; and
— Ontario Vineyard Medical Offices, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 2295 S. Vineyard Ave.

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