CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (CBS SF) – Amid growing concern about COVID-19 cases rising alongside the flu this fall and winter, Contra Costa County health officials plan to offer flu shots alongside coronavirus testing at several sites.
Contra Costa Health Services said several COVID-19 testing sites will provide free flu shots starting on Thursday, including testing sites in Antioch, Central Concord, North Concord, Richmond and San Ramon. Health officials said additional testing sites will provide the influenza vaccine in the future.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get their flu shots this year,” county health officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said in a statement. “Offering flu vaccine at COVID testing sites will let people cross two things off their to-do list at once.”
Health officials have raised worries about a so-called “twindemic” occurring in the coming months, where hospitals in California would be overwhelmed with both COVID-19 and flu patients.
“We are still very vulnerable with so many things coming as we enter winter,” California Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly told the state’s hospital and medical associations last week, warning hospitalizations could surge as soon as October.
During his most recent COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom urged people to get their flu shots and even received the vaccination from a doctor during the middle of the press conference.
Contra Costa County is also planning a series of one-day flu vaccination clinics (.pdf) throughout the county in October.
COVID-19 tests at county sites can be scheduled online or by calling 844-421-0804.