Los Angeles,
06:00 AM

Cedars-Sinai Offering Free Flu Shot Clinics

October may mean pumpkins and goblins to many, but to healthcare providers, October signifies the start of flu season. While the flu doesn't usually peak until December thru February, experts say now is the time to get a flu shot.

"A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family during the flu season," said Jonathan Grein, MD, Cedars-Sinai's medical director of Hospital Epidemiology. "Because it can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to provide protection against flu, the time to get the shot is before the flu season clicks into high gear."

Flu vaccines are important to your health, providing benefits such as reducing doctor’s visits, preventing missed days of school or work and minimizing flu-related illnesses and hospitalizations, Grein said.

There is never a guarantee that the flu shot will fully protect people from the strains in circulation, as the flu can change from year to year, and medical professionals have to prepare the shots months in advance. Nevertheless, Grein said, even if the vaccine isn't a perfect match, it can still provide protection and can lessen the severity of illness if you do get sick.

Because of Cedars-Sinai's commitment to keeping the community healthy, the health system is offering numerous opportunities for Angelenos to receive free flu shots. During October and November, Cedars-Sinai's Community Health and Education Department will be offering the vaccine for no charge at community events, including:

Oct. 17, 9 a.m.-noon
West Hollywood Disabilities Resource Fair
West Hollywood Community Center/Plummer Park
7377 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Oct. 20, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Del Rey Day Health Fair
Glen Alla Park
4601 Alla Rd.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Oct. 26, noon-4 p.m.
Capitol Drugs, Cedars-Sinai and Los Angeles County Health Department
Capitol Drugs
8578 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-noon
Cedars-Sinai Flu Shot Clinic
Spielberg building
8700 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Oct. 29, 10-11:30 a.m.
Health and Wellness Day
West Hollywood Community Center/ Plummer Park
7377 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Nov 3, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
88th Street Temple Church of God in Christ
8825 Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90044

Nov. 10, 9-10:30 a.m.
Young Israel of Century City
9317 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

At many of the community flu shot events, Cedars-Sinai healthcare professionals will be offering other health screenings such as blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings, in addition to flu shots.

"It is important that the flu vaccine and other crucial health screening are accessible to everyone," said Michele Rigsby Pauley, interim director of Cedars-Sinai Community Health and Education. "It is especially important for our elderly, particularly those without regular access to healthcare, as the flu can become a life-threatening event for seniors."

Young children also are vulnerable to the flu. The vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months or older. Cedars-Sinai's COACH for Kids Mobile Medical Clinics offer free flu shots for eligible children. For more information regarding the COACH schedule and eligibility, call 1-888-9-COACH-9.

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Am I Still Contagious?