Austin, Texas – Flu season has just begun, but given the early rise in local cases and record season in Australia, APH experts are anticipating a severe wave of flu illnesses if residents do not get vaccinated. Texas has already confirmed one child death and Austin/Travis County has had one school flu outbreak. The number of flu cases have surpassed the count this time last year.
You still have time to get a flu vaccine.
This National Influenza Vaccination Week take the time to get your flu shot. While flu activity is already high, it typically won’t peak until January or February, and significant activity can occur as late as May. People who get the flu vaccine and still get sick can expect a milder illness – and a lower risk of pneumonia, hospitalization or death.
- Insured: Visit VaccineFinder.org to find a location near you to get your flu shot.
- Uninsured: Austin Public Health offers flu vaccinations for uninsured adults and children who are uninsured or Medicaid recipients. You can call the Shots for Tots/Big Shots appointment line at 512-972-5520.
“The ability to vaccinate against disease is one of the greatest achievements in human history,” interim health authority Dr. Mark Escott said. “Please don’t take vaccinations for granted. Protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect those around you who are at increased risk for disease.”
Along with getting your flu shot, it is important to:
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face
- Cough and sneeze into a bent elbow
- Do not go to work or school if you have symptoms of flu
- Get treated within the first 48 hours of symptom onset
- Ask your medical provider for treatment for people in your household who have also been exposed to the virus and may be at increased risk to contract influenza
Austin Public Health’s Immunization Program provides approximately 45,000 immunizations annually to uninsured children and adults through APH clinics and outreach. The Immunization Program also supports 75 community vaccine providers in providing about 130,000 federal and state-funded vaccines annually.
For more information, visit AustinTexas.gov/Flu.