For folks wondering where to get this year’s annual flu shot, the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is offering the seasonal flu vaccine for children and adults at no cost for uninsured and low-income Dallas County residents.
In addition, the flu vaccine DCHHS provides is an all-in-one vaccine that protects against multiple flu strains including the H1N1 virus.
Renae Crutchfield, Public Information Officer II, Dallas County Health & Human Services said “The flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect against the flu. DCHHS has offered the seasonal flu shot for more than 20 years.”
While the vaccine is free for uninsured and low-income Dallas County residents, for other Dallas residents it is still inexpensive at $20 per injection.
“We would like to see an increase in early vaccination rates,” said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. “Getting the annual flu shot is really important, especially as you get older and your immune system doesn't work as well.”
Each year, Dallas County medical providers report more than a dozen flu related deaths in Dallas County.
Persons in high-risk groups such as pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions are advised to get flu shots in the beginning of flu season to help stay healthy.
“High-risk individuals and people in close contact with immune suppressed persons should receive the vaccine early to help prevent their own illness and prevent the spread of flu to others,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, Dallas County health authority/medical director. “For those who are not considered high-risk, a routine yearly influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older.”
Crutchfield said flu season is typically from October to May, therefore DCHHS will continue to offer the vaccine while it is available during that time.
“Due to weaker immune systems, older adults, children and people with chronic health conditions are at the greatest burden of severe flu disease,” she added. “As we begin to approach flu season, DCHHS recommend a routine yearly influenza vaccination for all person’s age six months and older.”
She said it is also recommended to get a flu shot every year, stay at home if you have flu-like symptoms, wash your hands with soap and water often, use hand sanitizer regularly, wash your hands before touching your face and use your elbow to shield your cough or sneeze.
The adult vaccine is given in the adult immunization clinic at the DCHHS building located at 2377 N. Stemmons Frwy. in Dallas. The children’s vaccine is available at all DCHHS immunization clinics. Clinic hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments aren’t necessary. For more information, call 214-819-2162.
Residents can also visit local pharmacies and other service providers that provide flu vaccinations.