— From Staff Reports
Haven’t had a flu shot but still want to get one? Especially in light of reports of increased cases and some flu-related deaths?
Not to worry. The Parker County Health District still has plenty of flu doses available.
The district says it has provided 12,500 vaccinations since September with its “Say Shoo to the Flu” campaign. Flu shots were given to children in most of the county’s school districts as well as clinics staged throughout the county.
“Many people took advantage of the vaccine being available early, but it is not too late to get vaccinated,” said PCHD Marketing Director Kathleen Durham. “Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated can still receive one. Vaccination is the single most important step you can take to protect yourself and others against infection."
According to the Center for Disease Control, flu season typically peaks in February and can last as late as May.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas is one of six states with high activity of influenza-like illnesses. About 95 percent of the Texas influenza cases are reportedly H1N1, also known as the swine flu.
Durham said even if you did not receive a shot and have had the flu, you can still be vaccinated to avoid contracting another flu strain.
“We recommend it,” she said. “They can get (the flu) again.”
While a shot doesn’t guarantee the recipient will not get the flu, Durham said, “it will keep you from getting it as bad as you would without the shot.”
The Parker County Hospital District Outreach Program offers the flu vaccine to children 6 months and older at no cost and adults pay $15. Residents can file some commercial insurance along with Medicare.
Durham said people without insurance requesting a shot will receive one.
“The importance of protecting yourself, protecting your family and protecting your community is what drives this program to cover every square mile of the county,” she said.
Heidi Rosengrant with the Texas Department of State Health Services that serves Parker and Palo Pinto counties on Tuesday said their office is out of flu vaccine for infants and toddlers ages 6-35 months and is running low on the number of doses for older children and adults.
Durham said since PCHD uses both state-issued vaccine and goes out and purchases additional vaccine quantities, the district still has plenty of vaccine available for anyone ages 6 months and older.
PCHD’s office is located at 1130 Pecan St. in Weatherford. For more information call 817-458-3254.