Reporting Austin York
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Although much attention in Dallas County has been focused on the West Nile virus, health officials do not want the community to forget about another seasonal threat. Dallas County Health & Human Services started offering flu vaccines on Monday, slightly ahead of schedule, following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although this flu season is not expected to be much different from last flu season, health officials still want to stress the importance of an annual flu shot. “Offering the flu vaccine to the public comes a little early this year in Dallas County,” said health department director Zachary Thompson, “but DCHHS is following the recommendation from the CDC to begin offering it as soon as it is available in the community.”
It takes the body about two weeks to develop full protection against the flu virus. The CDC maintains that the flu vaccine is the best way to protect a person from getting the flu, and recommends shots for almost everyone, except children under 6 months old or those with severe egg allergies. This year’s shot is an all-in-one vaccination that should help protect against a number of flu strains, including the H1N1 bird flu virus.
The vaccines cost $20, but are free for Medicare patients. They are offered in the adult immunization clinic on the first floor of the DCHHS building, located at 2377 North Stemmons Freeway in Dallas. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and appointments are not necessary. For more information, call 214-819-2162 or click here.
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