March 31, 2010
With recent upticks in flu activity in the southeastern United States, the
Texas Department of State Health Services is continuing to encourage people to
get the H1N1 flu vaccination now to protect themselves.
“The virus is still circulating. It's still hospitalizing people. We're
seeing some increases in H1N1 activity in other parts of the country, and our
illness patterns in Texas have generally followed what happens in the
southeast,” said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. “There is plenty of vaccine
to go around. People who have not been vaccinated should do so now.”
Vaccine is available for anyone six months or older. Texas health officials
are encouraging providers to place a special emphasis on vaccinating pregnant
women and people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart
disease, lung disease and other health conditions. Some older adults have had
complications when infected and also should be vaccinated. Children younger than
10 need two doses of the H1N1 vaccine.
In March, more than 50 hospitalizations and at least three deaths related to
H1N1 were reported in Texas. Overall, flu activity in Texas is classified as
“H1N1 is unpredictable, and we don't know yet if it will follow any seasonal
pattern,” Lakey said. “Activity might increase in the near future. It might not.
People should be vaccinated because it's better to prevent an illness than to
People who want to be vaccinated should check with their usual health care
provider or use the flu vaccine locator service available on TexasFlu.org.
Through a comprehensive public awareness campaign, DSHS has been encouraging
people to be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus since the state received its
first dose of the vaccine in October. Lakey also urged people to follow standard
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Cover coughs and sneezes;
- Stay home if sick
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allocated about 11
million doses of the H1N1 vaccine to Texas.
(News Media Contact: Carrie Williams, DSHS Acting Press
DSHS Press Office on Twitter