Staff Report

Experts recommend getting a flu vaccination in October each year, but getting vaccinated in December and beyond can still be effective during most flu seasons, including this one.

That’s the message from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Flu season most often peaks between December and March, but activity can occur as late as May.

“As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season in order to protect as many people as possible,” said Dr. Peter Hasler, Santa Barbara County Deputy Health Officer.

An annual flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and flu-related complications that could lead to hospitalization and even death, experts note. A flu vaccine is not only important for protecting yourself but also for protecting your friends and family members.

Flu vaccines are available from doctors and many retail pharmacies. Many employers, schools, colleges and universities also offer flu vaccines.
To find a nearby flu vaccination clinic, use the vaccine finder at

The cost of flu shots is covered by Medi-Cal, Medicare, and by most insurance plans.