National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 4-10, provides an opportunity to remind everyone 6 months and older that it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine.
The flu can be a serious health concern for older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with ongoing illnesses like diabetes, or kidney, heart, or lung disease.
While most healthy people recover from the flu, it can be passed to others around you who might not be so lucky. Every year, influenza sickens hundreds of thousands of people, sending them to the hospital. It kills, on average, about 24,000 people in the U.S. each year, including about 100 children, according to the CDC.
Even though handwashing and avoiding sick people are good habits, it is not enough to prevent the flu. Flu germs spread through the air when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. You can make others sick a day before you start to feel sick and up to a week after you become sick. Vaccination is the best tool to prevent the flu.
It’s not possible to predict what this flu season will be like – the best protection for yourself and those around you is to get a flu shot. Everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated. Now is the time to get the shot for protection throughout the entire flu season, which has already started in Williamson County, and can last until May. “Every person who protects themselves from getting the flu is also protecting those around them that cannot get the vaccine,” says Dr. Lisa Cornelius, Medical Director and Health Authority for the Williamson County and Cities Health District.
Several types of flu vaccine now are available at all Williamson County and Cities Health District public health centers, at Community Flu Shot Clinics listed below, and other locations, including the regular flu shot, high-dose flu shot for adults over 65, and egg-free shot. The nasal spray vaccine, which many parents prefer for their children, is not being recommended this year because recent research has questioned its effectiveness. Researchers are still trying to confirm if and why the nasal version might be less effective than the shot.
Free Community Flu Shot Clinics are open to the public for anyone aged three years and older. Flu shots are sponsored by WCCHD and the City of Hutto, City of Round Rock and City of Cedar Park.
Wed. Nov. 30, 2016
1 – 4 p.m.
East Williamson County Higher Education Center
1600 Innovation Blvd., Hutto, TX
Sat. Dec. 3, 2016
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Round Rock Market Days
Centennial Plaza, 301 W. Bagdad, Round Rock, TX
Sat. Dec. 10 & 17, 2016
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Farmer’s Market at Lakeline
11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, TX