Health experts in Texas continue to keep an eye on flu cases with an active flu season underway.
“Flu is the major story here,” Tarrant County Public Health director Vinny Taneja said this week.
At a briefing before Tarrant County commissioners Tuesday, Taneja presented a map showing flu activity across the country. Flu activity is currently “very high” in Texas, according to the map.
“I don’t think I’ve seen that in a long time on our flu map,” Taneja said.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, flu monitoring indicates the Texas flu season kicked off a few weeks earlier than usual this year. As the holidays approach, state health officials encourage Texans to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families from the flu.
Heather Vlassis is a pharmacy manager at Perrone Pharmacy in Fort Worth and says while a flu shot does not guarantee immunity, it can help if you are exposed.
“Even if it is a different strain, then one of the ones in the quadrivalent shot…you can still get the flu, probably won’t be as bad,” Vlassis said.
So far this flu season, Vlassis said Perrone Pharmacy has administered about 700 flu shots at their store and vaccine clinics.
“We’re doing a lot of shots this year, probably more than normal. We’re seeing a lot of flu though, too. We’re kind of getting both sides,” she explained. “It’s way easier, faster to come get a flu shot at a pharmacy. A lot more people are willing to do it, because it’s easy. You can walk in, walk out. You don’t have to make an appointment or sit around people who are also there making an appointment because they’re sick.”
Visit vaccines.gov to find locations near you where flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster doses are available.