flu shots

Flu season has officially begun and Monterey County health officials are making getting flu vaccines as easy as possible for as many people as possible to ward off a possible larger health crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic. The first clinics offering free flu vaccines begin tomorrow and run through Nov. 2.

Montage infectious disease specialist Martha Blum told the Weekly in September that flu shots are needed “more than ever right now,” despite ongoing shelter-in-place efforts during the pandemic. Along with wearing masks, hand washing and staying physically distant,”those things will be protective and by adding the flu vaccine on top, it will protect you even further from getting really, really ill.”

It's also an important way to protect others around us and the community at large, especially during the pandemic when hospital bed space can be limited.

Below is a list of clinics where the free flu vaccines will be available. The clinics offer vaccines for anyone 6 months or older unless otherwise noted.

11am-2pm Saturday, Oct. 10. Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital 450 E. Romie Lane, Salinas. Monterey County Health Department in partnership with SVMH.

Noon-5pm, Tuesday, Oct. 13. Parking lot across from River Inn, 46800 Highway 1, Big Sur. Drive-thru clinic conducted by the Big Sur Health Center, for ages 3 and up.

4pm-7pm, Tuesday, October 13. Palma High School, 919 Iverson St., Salinas. Walk-in outdoor clinic conducted by MCHD in partnership with SVMH and PHS.

11am-2-pm, Saturday, Oct. 17. Hartnell Professional Center, 576 Hartnell St., Monterey. Drive-thru clinic conducted by Monterey County Health Department in partnership with Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

11am-3pm, Sunday, Oct. 18. Mee Memorial Hospital, Canal Street, King City. Drive-thru clinic conducted by MCHD in partnership with Mee Memorial.

9am-noon, Wednesday, Oct. 21. CSU Monterey Bay, Lot 59, Drive-thru clinic by Monterey County Health Department.

9am-noon Thursday, Oct. 22, CSUMB, Lot 59. Drive-thru clinic by MCHD.

11am-2pm Saturday, Oct. 24. Taylor Farms Family Health and Wellness Center 850 5th St., Gonzales. MCHD in partnership with SVMH.

9am-3pm, Monday, Nov, 2. Monterey Peninsula College, 980 Fremont St., Parking Lot C, Monterey. Drive-thru clinic by Monterey County Health Department in partnership with MPC's Maureen Church Coburn School of Nursing.

UPDATE: Mee Memorial Hospital is offering flu shot clinics into December at its clinics in King City and Greenfield. The vaccinations are by appointment only and may include fees.

The flu shots will be available 2-5pm, Fridays, Oct. 30, Nov. 13, Dec. 4 and Dec. 18.

The King City Clinic is located at 210 Canal St.; 831-385-7100. The Albert and Donna Oliveira Clinic is located at 467 El Camino Real, Greenfield; 831-674-4199.

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