Public Health Officials Urge Residents to Get a Flu Shot

Free drive-up flu shots available October 8 & 9 at San Marcos High School

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reminds residents that it is time to get a flu shot.  Significant flu activity can begin as early as October, last as late as May, and typically peaks in February.  Although getting a flu shot every year is recommended, this season, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting a flu vaccine is especially important to protect yourself, your family, and community from flu.  Equally important is that flu vaccination helps save limited medical resources necessary for the care of COVID-19 patients. Just like wearing a mask, getting a flu shot is an easy and safe action we can take to stay healthy during this pandemic.

To highlight the importance of influenza vaccination for all community members, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Director, Van Do-Reynoso, and Santa Barbara County Supervisor, Greg Hart, recently joined together to get their flu shots.

Yearly flu vaccination should begin as soon as vaccine is available, and should continue throughout the flu season.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can take about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early. Health experts across the country recommend that everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women, get a flu vaccine. Medical providers are taking every precaution to keep you safe, wherever you plan to get vaccinated.

Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever before and is the single best way to prevent the flu. Vaccines are available from your regular health care provider as well as retail pharmacies. Many employers, schools, colleges, and universities also offer them.

Free drive-up flu shots are available October 8 and 9 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at San Marcos High School (4750 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara). There are also locations in Lompoc and Santa Maria. No appointment is needed. Please wear a face covering or mask, remain in your car, complete a short form and get your vaccination. Available for anyone ages 2 and up. No insurance or identification needed. For more information visit

Find other locations offering the vaccine by visiting

Flu shots are covered by Medi-Cal, Medicare and by most insurance plans. Find more information about the flu and flu vaccine at

Pictured: County Supervisor, Gregg Hart, Chair of the Board and Director, Van Do-Reynoso get vaccinated against seasonal influenza (flu).