Photo: Dept of Health
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is joining other cities across the Lone Star State to commemorate Texas Influenza Awareness Day on October 1.
As the number of flu cases in our area begins to pick up steam, officials want to make sure that everyone six months old and older gets vaccinated to protect themselves from getting the flu.
“We have yet to see huge numbers of flu cases in the Sun City,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “What we know for sure is that the flu shot is the first line of defense to prevent getting sick.”
Flu vaccination is particularly important for pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions, because people in those groups are at a greater risk of severe complications if they do get the flu.
The DPH currently has flu vaccines available for patients 6 months to 18 years of age. They are available at DPH Immunization Centers for $10/per dose.
For patients, age 6 months through 18 years, to be eligible to receive Texas Vaccines For Children (TVFC) immunizations at the Department of Public Health Clinics, they must meet one of the eligibility criteria listed below:
- Medicaid eligible
- Uninsured: a child without health insurance coverage
- American Indian or Alaskan Native
- Enrolled in CHIP
*Underinsured definition from DSHS – A child who has commercial (private) health insurance, but coverage does not include vaccines.
The flu vaccine for adult patients over the age of 19 is expected to be available on October 12. Residents may call 915-212-6555 to schedule an appointment.
In addition, the El Paso Fire and Health Department’s “Vaccinations for Health” program will provide free influenza vaccines along with various screenings to patients 18 and older
- Saturday Oct. 1: Station 17, 8803 Alameda Ave., 8-11 a.m.
- Wednesday Oct. 5: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-6 p.m.
- Wednesday Oct. 12: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-6 p.m.
- Saturday Oct. 15: Station 18, 7901 San Jose Rd., 8-11 a.m.
- Wednesday Oct. 19: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-6 p.m.
- Wednesday Oct. 26: EPFD Safety, Health Outreach Center, 5415 Trowbridge Dr., 1-6 p.m.
Influenza, commonly known as the “flu”, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms usually start abruptly and include fever, body aches, chills, a dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and extreme fatigue and can last a week or longer.
Take precautions to reduce your chance of getting the flu this season by getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home if you’re sick. People can contact their health care provider, local health department, local pharmacy or visit thehttp://dshs.texas.gov/txflu/flu-locator.shtm to find out where flu shots are available.
Health officials encourage people to seek treatment if experiencing flu symptoms. If started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, antivirals may help shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the flu.