San Franciscans encouraged to protect against flu and COVID-19
September 13, 2023

San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) today announced that all San Franciscans 6 months and older are urged to receive a new COVID-19 vaccine, aligning with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and authorized the updated COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The new vaccines are expected to begin arriving as early as this week.

“The new COVID-19 vaccines provide the best available protection against severe disease caused by current variants and will be an essential tool to help San Franciscans stay healthy,” said San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip. “San Franciscans can build on their excellent track record of COVID-19 prevention by receiving these updated vaccines.” 

All San Franciscans 6 months of age and older are urged to get vaccinated this fall against both the COVID-19 and flu. COVID-19 and flu vaccines can be given at the same visit. A flu shot is recommended for every season. 

Vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing severe illness and death, and the new COVID-19 vaccines offer the best protection against circulating subvariants. A new COVID-19 vaccine is recommended if one has not been received in the past two months. The vaccines will especially help protect those who are most at risk of developing severe flu or COVID-19 complications such as older adults, people who smoke, or anyone with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease. COVID-19 vaccination also decreases the risk of long COVID which can cause prolonged symptoms.

COVID-19 vaccines will be available at health care providers, pharmacies, and clinics by the end of this week. Health care providers are the first place to go for COVID-19 and flu health care. Through a network of SFDPH-affiliated sites, SFDPH offers vaccinations to individuals without health insurance or who face barriers to access vaccination. COVID-19 and flu vaccines will be available at SFDPH community sites early next week. San Francisco is committed to ensuring low-barrier access to new COVID-19 vaccines and will continue to partner with community organizations in priority neighborhoods to offer information and vaccines.

While vaccines can reduce the risks of contracting COVID-19 and flu, they do not completely eliminate them. SFDPH strongly recommends that San Franciscans take the following additional actions to protect themselves and others this fall and winter from illness: 

  • Stay home when sick and stay away from others who are sick.   
  • Practice good hygiene: wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Keep a well-fitted mask on hand for added protection in crowded indoor spaces.  
  • Have COVID-19 at-home test kits to identify infection so you can protect yourself and others. 
  • Increase ventilation or air filtration when indoors if possible.  
  • Ask your provider in advance if you are someone who would benefit from treatment with a medicine for flu or for COVID-19, as these medicines must be started early.   

 For more information on vaccine locations, COVID-19 resources, and information, visit: