The Alliance urges residents to get their flu vaccine: “You don’t have time for the flu!”


Scotts Valley, Calif., September 12, 2023 — Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance) has launched its annual campaign to encourage Merced, Monterey and Santa Cruz county residents to get their annual flu vaccine. The Alliance is the Medi-Cal managed health care plan for more than 428,000 residents in these three counties.

Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by as much as 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the produced flu vaccine (CDC).

“Getting the flu vaccine each year is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick from the flu,” said the Alliance’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Dennis Hsieh. “It’s important to get the flu vaccine before peak flu season, as it takes about two weeks post-vaccination for protective antibodies to develop in the body. Early fall is ideal timing to ensure adequate protection.”

Flu vaccines are safe and easy to get, and they are available at no cost for Alliance members. Adults can get a flu vaccine at a local pharmacy, a flu vaccine clinic or at their doctor’s office. Children and adolescents under age 19 need to get the flu vaccine from their pediatrician. Children between 6 months and 8 years old may need two doses of the flu vaccine for best protection. Alliance members with children ages 7 to 24 months who get their two flu vaccine doses between September and May will be entered into a monthly raffle for a $100 Target gift card.

The Alliance’s campaign theme, “You don’t have time for the flu,” emphasizes that amidst busy lives and the potential for added financial stress, it is often inconvenient to take time off for illnesses. People can minimize their risk of getting the flu with an annual flu vaccine.

For more information, visit www.thealliance.health/flu.

Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance) is a regional Medi-Cal managed care health plan, established in 1996 to improve access to health care for over 420,000 members in Merced, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Using the state’s County Organized Health System (COHS) model, the Alliance delivers innovative community-based health care services by connecting members with providers that deliver timely services and care, focused on prevention, early detection and effective treatment. As an award-winning managed care health plan with a vision of “healthy people, healthy communities,” the Alliance remains focused on efforts to improve access to quality health care for its members. For more information, visit www.thealliance.health.