Skip the flu. Get the flu vaccine.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health strongly recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get their yearly flu vaccine. With COVID-19 and the upcoming flu season overlapping, health officials say it's more important than ever to get vaccinated against influenza this year.
Why should I get a flu vaccine?
The vaccine protects everyone's health
A flu vaccination is the best protection against influenza.
When you’re vaccinated against flu, you are less likely to catch the flu and less likely to infect others, including people at high risk of developing serious flu complications or death.
If you get the vaccine and still get the flu, your symptoms will likely be less severe and your chances of hospitalization or death due to flu will be lower
Getting sick with both COVID-19 and flu may increase your chance of severe illness and hospitalization.
COVID-19 and flu symptoms are similar
Flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms including fever, chills, cough, headache, body aches, sore throat and fatigue.
If you or your child become ill, it may not be easy to know which disease they have — the flu or COVID-19.
People with symptoms of the flu should call their healthcare provider, and get tested for COVID-19. You will need to isolate while awaiting test results.
See more flu facts from the Department of Public Health.
Vaccination helps our healthcare system & the City's reopening
We want to avoid a “twindemic" – when the hospital system is overrun with patients with both flu and COVID-19.
Your decision to get a flu vaccine this year can make a real difference for our hospital capacity and health system.
Even a mild flu season could overtax hospitals already coping with COVID-19.
An impacted hospital system or an increase in hospitalizations will impact the City’s ability to treat patients and may impact the City's progress in further reopening.
Where and how do I get a flu vaccine?
For people with insurance
For people with insurance, flu vaccines are widely available without cost to the patient as a preventive service from their regular healthcare provider. Many pharmacies also accept insurance.
To find a flu vaccine at a location near you, contact your healthcare provider or visit Vaccines.gov. Make sure to call and verify that the info is correct before visiting the location in person.
If your regular health care provider does not have the flu vaccine, some DPH and partner organizations will be offering flu vaccines to both uninsured patients and patients with insurance.
For more details and a list of San Francisco locations that offer free or low-cost flu vaccinations, visit our Flu Vaccines site.
For people without insurance
For people without insurance, DPH will be offering many opportunities to get a free flu vaccine. For more details and a list of San Francisco locations that offer free or low-cost flu vaccinations, visit Flu Vaccines site.
In addition to getting the flu vaccine, help protect yourself and your loved ones by:
- Wearing your face covering when indoors in most public places washing your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Covering your cough and sneezes with your elbow or arm
- Avoiding touching your eyes nose or mouth
- Staying home when you are sick, contacting your healthcare provider and getting a COVID-19 test
- Getting vaccinated for COVID-19
Hospitals, clinics and other settings across the city have taken every precaution to ensure patients are safe when getting vaccinated.
For the public
Misconceptions about seasonal flu and flu vaccines.