Push continues for San Diegans to get flu shots

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Local doctors say there is no reason to not get the flu shot. In fact, it may help individuals have a healthier holiday season.

No one has died of the flu in San Diego County since flu season started in October, but there have been 141 confirmed cases of the flu. Four people got so sick, they ended up in the intense care unit.

San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman got a shot in the arm at a flu clinic, even though she was not planning on it.

“Painless, yet so important,” she said.

It is all part of the end of the year push for all San Diegans to get the influenza vaccine.

For Council Member Mark Kersey, it is personal. In January of this year, Mark’s brother Brad got the flue. The 37-year-old was taken to a hospital in Pittsburgh, and within a few days, he died.

He left behind a wife and four children.

“By the time we got there he was in a coma, and he wasn’t available to see that we were there unfortunately,” said Kersey.

Mark and other members of his family are turning their grief into good by becoming advocates for taking care of yourself, by getting the flu shot.

“Everybody’s had the flu. Most of us haven’t died from it. I think that’s part of the issue here, people don’t take it seriously,” said Kersey.

The flu is serious and it took 70 lives in San Diego County just last season.

“If your fever is above 102 degrees, severe symptoms, nausea, vomiting, can’t stay hydrated, blood pressure low, dizzy it can become very severe,” said Dr. William Tseng.

Doctor offices, pharmacies, hospitals, vaccines are available in so many places.

No insurance? No problem. Call 211 and the county will take care of you.

“With all of this availability, there should be no excuses,” said Dr. Tseng.

Those high at risk for the flue are children, those who are pregnant, those with low immune systems, and the elderly.

Since the county-wide push earlier this month, the number of people heading out to get the flu shot has gone up.

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