Clinics Prepare for Upcoming Flu Season

October 18, 2002
Contact: Ambulatory Services Administration (415) 353-2021

Plenty of flu vaccine is expected this year to protect those at high risk of complications from the flu -- which kills about 20,000 Americans annually -- and those for whom the flu is just a few days of misery.

At UCSF Medical Center, flu shot clinics will be held in November at its Parnassus and Mount Zion locations. An administrative fee of $20 payable in cash or by check will be charged

Because the nature of the flu virus changes every year, people have to be inoculated annually for full protection. Each year, the vaccine is designed to combat the specific strains of flu that are anticipated to reach the United States. This year's vaccine is designed to fight three specific strains of flu. The influenza season in the United States is usually between December and March. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become effective.

At the Mount Zion location, clinics are scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 12, 13 and 14, on the first floor at 2380 Sutter St.

At the Parnassus location, clinics are scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 in the Ambulatory Care Center lobby at 400 Parnassus Ave. For more information, call the medical center's flu clinic hotline at (415) 353-3505.

Two free clinics for patients of the Brown & Toland medical group will be held at Mount Zion. The clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 4 clinic in Hellman Hall at 2200 Post St. and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 5 at Herbst Hall at 1600 Divisadero St. For more information about the Brown & Toland clinics, call (415) 923-4555.

Flu shots are especially recommended for:

  • People who are 50 or older
  • People who are between the ages of 6-months and 18-years-old who are on aspirin therapy
  • Adults and children with chronic pulmonary or cardiovascular disorders
  • Anyone whose immune system is compromised due to medication or other therapies or disorders such as HIV
  • People who are diabetic
  • People who have renal dysfunction
  • People who have blood disorders (hemoglobinopathies)
  • People who have musculoskeletal disorders that impede breathing
  • Women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during flu season

People who have contact with those at risk for complications -- such as health care workers -- also are encouraged to be inoculated. People who are not at risk for complications may choose to be inoculated just to avoid the symptoms of flu, which include nasal congestion, fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, sore throat and cough, and lasts five to seven days.

People who shouldn't receive a flu shot are those with allergies to eggs or egg products, or who have had an allergic reaction to flu vaccine in the past, or who recently had a flu shot elsewhere. The flu vaccine is a “killed virus,” which means it cannot transmit the flu. It may cause a short-term arm soreness.