North Texas health authorities, including Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) and Irving Health Authority Keith Lepak, are encouraging all members of the community to get their influenza vaccine and help slow the spread of the flu. Early studies show good effect from this year’s vaccination in diminishing the frequency and severity of illness.
Currently, the majority of cases reported are Influenza B; however, Influenza A is expected to peak here from February to March, said Lepak. This season’s hospitalizations and fatalities in Texas have been attributed mostly to Influenza A. The flu doesn’t discriminate based on age or gender, and it can be particularly difficult for at-risk populations, such as small children, people over age 65 and those with compromised immune systems.
DCHHS says the vaccine does not cause the flu. However, it is possible to have a mild reaction to the vaccine - a low-grade fever or mild headache. Regardless, health officials urge everyone older than 6 months to get the current flu vaccine.
Irving residents can be vaccinated at their doctors’ offices, as well as at various pharmacies around the city. Flu vaccines for adults and children are available at all DCHHS immunization clinic sites at no cost, including the Irving clinic at 440 S. Nursery Road.