Many pharmacies and primary care providers have 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine and flu shots as of early October. (Allison Gasparini — Santa Cruz Local)
Santa Cruz County health officials recently advised residents to stay up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine to protect against severe illness from COVID variants.
- Primary care providers, health clinics, pharmacies and some supermarkets offer COVID and influenza vaccines in Santa Cruz County. COVID vaccines are available for adults and children 6 months and older.
- Santa Cruz Local has updated a COVID vaccine resource page with hours and availability of COVID and flu shots from providers throughout the county.
“The updated COVID-19 vaccines will especially help protect those who are most at risk of developing severe COVID-19 complications, such as older adults, people who smoke, or anyone with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart disease,” Santa Cruz County spokesperson Corrine Hyland wrote in a statement. “COVID-19 vaccination also decreases the risk of Long COVID, which can cause prolonged symptoms.”
COVID-19, the flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, are the three viruses responsible for most hospitalizations, Hyland said. Vaccines are available for all three. RSV vaccines are approved for people 60 and older. Antibody immunization against RSV is recommended for infants 8 months and younger, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To avoid spreading illness, county health officials advised residents to:
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Test for COVID and treat if needed.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Cover your cough and sneeze.
- Consider wearing a mask indoors in public.