October 24, 2022
Flu Season is Expected to be Worst in Several Years
(Austin) – With flu season already upon us, Central Health is urging all Travis County residents to get their flu shots as soon as possible, preferably by Halloween.
“Getting your flu shot is the best way to protect you and your family members from falling very ill,” Dr. Guadalupe Zamora of the Central Health Board of Managers said. “Many of the same protocols we used during the COVID-19 pandemic – avoiding large crowds, washing your hands, isolating if you have symptoms – are also appropriate for the flu.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this year’s flu is particularly potent, with both Type A and B already spreading rapidly.
Central Health is urging both its Medical Access Program (MAP) members and the Travis County population in general to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Many MAP members fall into categories that make them especially susceptible to the flu or experience increased symptoms and complications.
“There are several groups at higher risk for influenza,” said Dr. John Jordan, Central Health’s Director of Health Informatics. “People who are 65 and older, children who are less than 5, and people with chronic health conditions like heart disease and asthma are at higher risk.”
Many MAP members also work hourly wage jobs, meaning they may not have paid sick time and thus must choose between losing income or potentially spreading illness if they become symptomatic. For these individuals, taking every precaution and preventative measure is critical, and the flu vaccine is the first line of defense.
To search for flu vaccines in your area, visit www.vaccines.gov. If you are a MAP patient, talk to your doctor or call your clinic to schedule an appointment. CommUnityCare patients can also get free flu shots at clinics with an appointment. Flu vaccines are available with most physicians and at local pharmacies, including Walgreens, Randall’s, HEB, and CVS (many pharmacies require an appointment to get the shot, so call ahead to confirm). Many patients can get a flu shot while they are seeing their doctor for a different health issue.
For more information on flu symptoms and ways to protect yourself, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.