During the 2014-2015 flu season, 146 pediatric influenza-associated deaths were reported across the United States equating to a 31% overall increase in flu-related child death. Of those, 17 were right here in Texas.
Immunize El Paso is taking the lead to help stop vaccine-preventable death by teaming up with El Paso-area school districts, the City of El Paso Recreation Department and the El Paso County Nutrition Program.
While how well the flu vaccine works can vary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against flu and its potentially serious complications. Millions of people have safely received flu vaccines for decades. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
“Persons at the greatest risk of developing flu related complications include children younger than 5, but especially younger than 2 years old” said Danny Acosta, Director of Immunize El Paso. “Adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant woman as well as suffers of asthma, heart disease, diabetes and those with a weakened immune system should immediately consider vaccination” Acosta continued.
Each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized. Flu vaccine is the best protection we have from flu and its complications. Vaccination also helps prevent spreading flu from person to person.
“Last year, flu activity increased through November and December before peaking in late December – meaning now is the best time to get vaccinated” Acosta further explained.
About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection.
Vaccines are available in the injectable and the mist form for adults & children. Patients 18 & younger who do not have insurance may also qualify for free vaccination thanks to a grant issued by the Caring for Children Foundation of Texas.
For more information on where to get vaccinated visit http://www.immunizeelpaso.org/ or call 857-2474.
Author: Immunize El Paso