As Los Angeles county residents start preparing for holiday festivities L.A.County Public Health urges everyone to consider getting the newly updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against severe illness this winter virus season. It is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
The new COVID-19 vaccine, which became available in September, is formulated to provide effective protection against strains currently circulating in L.A. County. If you have not had a COVID vaccine since September, your defenses against COVID-19 are not as strong as they could be.
To maximize protection, get vaccinated at least two weeks before holiday gatherings. However, if you can’t get vaccinated during that time period, that’s ok. Plan to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. Studies show that vaccination reduces your risk of long COVID and lowers your chances of severe illness, hospitalization and death, if you are infected.
Spread the word to your family and friends – encourage them to get vaccinated, too. Together we can create a healthier holiday season, with fewer disruptions due to illness, for everyone.
You might ask: Do I need the updated COVID-19 vaccine?
The answer is YES! The updated COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, even if you’ve had earlier versions of the vaccine or had COVID-19 in the past. Even for people who feel they are in good health and don’t get sick often, getting vaccinated reduces your chances of a severe infection, spreading COVID to others who are vulnerable and long COVID. For some people who are very young or have compromised immune systems, additional doses of the vaccine may be recommended by their health care provider.
Getting vaccinated is easy. The updated COVID-19 vaccine is widely available through health care providers, retail pharmacies and at Public Health Centers and PODs. There should be no out-of-pocket costs to L.A. County residents for the new vaccine regardless of your insurance or immigration status.
To make an appointment to get the new vaccine or find a vaccination site near you, visit ph.lacounty.gov/Vaccines or myturn.ca.gov.
Los Angeles County is currently firmly in respiratory virus season, the time of year when residents typically experience an increase in the spread of COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Taking extra steps to stay healthy this winter can help ensure that you don’t miss out on holiday festivities.
Besides getting the updated COVID-19, flu and, if you are over 60, RSV vaccines, there are several other steps you can take to help protect you and your loved ones this winter.
— Most importantly, stay home when you are sick. Don’t risk infecting others.
— Cover coughs and sneezes so you don’t spread viruses to others. This is especially important if you are around people who are more vulnerable to severe illness from infection, such as older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
— Wash your hands often to prevent picking up and transmitting viruses to others.
— Wear a well-fitting mask in crowded indoor spaces.
To learn more about the updated vaccine talk to your health care provider or pharmacist or contact the Public Health Call Center at 1-833-540-0473. It’s open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
Public Health Call Center staff are available to answer your questions about COVID-19 and vaccines in general. They also can assist in finding a location, including mobile or pop-up vaccines sites, that offers free vaccines if you are uninsured or underinsured or making an appointment for an at-home vaccine if you are homebound.
It is recommended you follow @lapublichealth on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram the latest updates about Los Angeles County.
Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/
California Department of Public Health https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/index.html
World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
L.A. County residents can also call 2-1-1