CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA — As of Thursday, Contra Costa County will offer free flu shots to residents who are getting tested at a COVID-19 testing site.
The county will also conduct seven vaccination clinics in October, bringing free flu shots to Richmond, Concord, Antioch, San Ramon and Brentwood.
All can come regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status — and flu shots are not included in public charge assessments. people do not need appointments, an ID or social security number, but they must wear masks and be at least six months old.
Getting a flu shot has never been more important, Contra Costa Health Services said Wednesday in a news release.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get their flu shots this year,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County’s health officer, in the news release. “Offering [the] flu vaccine at COVID testing sites will let people cross two things off their to-do list at once.”
The announcement comes as many in public health have sounded the alarm about a so-called twindemic due to a possible double surge in flu and COVID-19 cases. People can fall ill with both the flu and coronavirus, the county said.
The Bay Area’s flu season tends to peak in January or February, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people get flu shots by the end of October.
Flu vaccines should be received in advance of flu season, since it takes people about two weeks after vaccination to develop antibodies, according to the CDC. But getting vaccines too early can lead to decreased efficacy later in flu season.
Flu symptoms are similar to COVID-19 symptoms and can include congestion, cough and fever, the county said. There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 and Contra Costa residents are urged to get a free test if they exhibit such symptoms during flu season.
See a list of Contra Costa COVID-19 testing sites here.
Free flu shot clinics will run through the month of October at the following areas:
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 9 a.m. to noon: Monument Crisis Center (1990 Market St.)
Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Loma Vista Adult Center (1266 San Carlos Ave.); drive-thru site
Thursday, Oct. 8, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Shields Reid Community Center (1410 Kelsey St.)
Sunday, Oct. 18, noon to 4 p.m.: Tibetan Association of Northern California (5200 Dalai Lama Ave.)
Friday, Oct. 30, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Alcosta Senior & Community Center (9300 Alcosta Blvd.); drive-thru site
Get more details about the free flu shot clinics here.
This article originally appeared on the El Cerrito Patch