Public Health Officials Encourage Texans To Get Their Flu Vaccination Now

News Release
Oct. 3, 2022

Influenza season is under way, and the Texas Department of State Health Services recommends eligible Texans get vaccinated now to protect themselves from the flu. Because it takes about two weeks for the body to make flu antibodies after vaccine administration, early vaccination is important.

“Because influenza can be a very serious disease, we recommend that all individuals aged 6 months and older get their flu vaccine every year,” said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, DSHS Interim Commissioner. “The flu vaccines for the 2022-2023 flu season have undergone substantial changes since last season, which will allow them to better protect against the flu viruses that are currently circulating. So it is important to go get this season’s flu vaccine before flu activity increases even more in Texas.”

Just as COVID-19 illness impacts certain populations more severely than others, influenza can also cause more severe illness to vulnerable populations. Those with chronic health conditions, older adults, young children, pregnant women and people who live them should get vaccinated to protect themselves and those in their households and communities.

There are three recommended higher dose flu vaccines for people 65 years or older to choose from for this 2022-2023 flu season. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends any of these vaccines for this age group as they are potentially more effective than standard dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines. No preferential recommendations were made for people under 65 years of age.

Also, people can safely get the influenza vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time without any loss of effectiveness.

“If you are due for both a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 booster dose, you can get them at the same visit,” Shuford said. “Both flu and COVID-19 can cause severe disease, so it is a good idea to stay up-to-date with both of these vaccines.”

All flu vaccines this season were produced to protect against viruses similar to the following strains: A/Darwin/9/20219(H3N2); B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage); and B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage). Some vaccines include an additional vaccine virus strain, A/Victoria/2570/2019(H1N1)pdm09, and others include A/Wisconsin/588/2019(H1N1)pdm09.

Influenza illness is caused by one of a number of related viruses. Onset of symptoms is swift and can include fever, body aches, chills, a dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache and extreme fatigue. These can last a week or longer.

Contact your doctor, pharmacy or local health department to learn where you can get your flu shot or use the vaccine finder at Vaccines.gov to find out where flu shots are available. Health care professionals also recommend people seek treatment promptly if they are experiencing flu symptoms. Antiviral drugs may lessen the duration or severity of the flu if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

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(News Media Contact: pressofficer@dshs.texas.gov)

Last updated October 3, 2022