Health experts in Texas continue to monitor flu cases with an active flu season underway.
“The flu is the top 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 we’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 that the Texas flu season began 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 against the flu.
Heather Vlassis is a pharmacy manager at Perrone Pharmacy in Fort Worth and says that while a flu shot doesn’t guarantee immunity, it can help if you’re exposed.
“Even if it’s a different strain, then one of the ones on the quadrivalent shot … you can still get the flu, it’s probably not as bad,” Vlassis said.
So far this flu season, Vlassis said Perrone Pharmacy has administered about 700 flu shots at its store and vaccine clinics.
“We’re taking a lot of shots this year, probably more than normal. However, we are also seeing a lot of flu. We are understanding both sides,” she explained. “It is much easier and faster to go to a pharmacy to get a flu shot. A lot more people are willing to do it, because it’s easy. You can go in, go out. You don’t have to make an appointment or sit with people who are also there making an appointment because they are sick.”
Visit vaccines.gov to find places near you where the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster doses are available.