October 5, 2010
The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging everyone over 6
months old to get a seasonal flu shot as soon as possible.
“There’s no reason to wait. The supply is here,” said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS
commissioner. “We usually see an increase in flu cases in late October or early
November. It takes the vaccine about two weeks to become effective, so get
vaccinated now to protect yourself and your family.”
Lakey said this year’s seasonal vaccine also protects against H1N1 flu. A
nasal spray vaccine is an option for healthy people ages 2 to 49 who are not
The flu is caused by various influenza viruses. Symptoms include fever,
coughing, sore throat, aches, chills and fatigue. Most healthy people recover
without problems, but people over 65, pregnant women, young children and people
with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for serious complications and
even death. It is especially important for people in those high-risk groups to
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently broadened its
recommendation, urging everyone at least 6 months old to get vaccinated. The CDC
also says children ages 6 months to 8 years who have not previously been
vaccinated for both seasonal and H1N1 flu should get two doses of the vaccine at
least four weeks apart.
A different flu vaccine is produced each year because different strains of
the virus circulate. The three strains covered by this year’s vaccine are
A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2), B/Brisbane/60/2008.
Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent flu from spreading. Also, cover
all coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently with soap and water or hand
sanitizer and stay home if sick.
People should contact their health care provider, local health department or
2-1-1 to find out where to get a flu shot. Flu information and tips for
protecting against the flu are at texasflu.org.
(News Media Contact: Chris Van Deusen, DSHS Assistant
Press Officer, 512-458-7753)
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