Public Health flu monitoring indicates the Texas flu season kicked off a few weeks earlier than usual this year. That’s why the Texas Department of State Health Services encourages Texans to get vaccinated now to protect themselves and their families from flu as the holidays approach.
“Vaccination remains our best defense against severe illness from flu, especially for more vulnerable populations like older adults, very young children, people with chronic health conditions and pregnant women,” said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, DSHS Interim Commissioner. “That’s why we recommend that everyone six months and older receive their flu vaccine each year. And it’s especially important to get vaccinated now since it takes the body two weeks after vaccination to fully produce antibodies to fight flu.”
Reporting from around the state confirms more influenza-like illness occurring earlier than recent flu seasons, which matches flu reporting from across much of the country. The flu vaccines for this 2022-2023 season have undergone substantial changes since last season, which will allow them to better protect against the flu viruses that are now circulating.
Anyone feeling ill or experiencing flu symptoms should stay at home and contact their health care provider. There are effective anti-viral treatments available for the flu, which are highly recommended for people at higher risk of flu complications, such as people with asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Other ways people can protect themselves and the people close to them from flu is to wash their hands often, cover their coughs and sneezes and stay home if they don’t feel well.
Eligible Texans can also safely and conveniently get their flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster at the same time. The updated COVID-19 booster is designed to protect against the Omicron variants, which are causing the most COVID-19 illness in Texas right now.
Visit Vaccines.gov to find locations near you where flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster doses are available.